Published: September 22, 2010
Author, naturalist, and public servant Anne Draddy is Baltimore's version of Johnny Appleseed and a historian to boot. As coordinator of TreeBaltimore, a mayoral initiative under the Department of Recreation and Parks, Draddy leads an ambitious effort to double the city's tree canopy from 27 to 40 percent within 30 years. It's not just some Birkenstocked pipe dream. Trees improve air quality, increase property values, and even, Draddy contends, reduce violence and aggression in humans. At least 6,000 trees a year for the past three years have been planted so far, and this year, cuts to the city's street planting budget make Tree Baltimore's outreach to residents and businesses even more important. With her arboreal organizing work and role as co-author of Druid Hill Park: The Heart of Historic Baltimore, Draddy, more than just about anyone, is connecting the dots between Baltimore's natural resources and its history, health, economy and overall livability. Not bad for a city employee.