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Successful Plantings Continue Through a Successful Partnership

Officials from WSSC, the MD Chapter, and members of the Lyles family pose at the orchard sign.

Remus Lyles (rt) assisted by Ron Kuipers of the MD Chapter, plant one of the first seeds.

On April 5th, officials from the Maryland Chapter and the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) marked another milestone in their long-standing partnership by dedicating the new Lyles backcross orchard. This orchard becomes the fourth in this successful joint effort.

WSSC is among the largest water and wastewater utilities in the nation, serving 1.8 million residents in the Maryland suburbs neighboring Washington DC. WSSC uses two Patuxent River reservoirs to provide much of the needed water. WSSC recently purchased the Lyles family farm, located in a key position within this watershed near the upper reservoir’s Brighton Dam. Remus and Howard Lyles, sons of the original owners, currently live on either side of the old farm.

The farm, which during the first half of the 20th century provided vegetables for Baltimore and Washington markets, will host four different lines of 100 B3F1 seedlings, each as part of the Chapter’s breeding program. The first 100 were planted after the dedication. The remaining three lines are scheduled to be planted next spring.

Maryland Chapter President, Peggy MacDonald; WSSC General Manager and CEO, Carla Reid; WSSC Director of Communications and Community Relations, Chuck Brown; WSSC Production Director, JC Langley; and Remus Lyles each spoke at the dedication. The chestnut seeds were planted following the ceremony. See more photos from the dedication and planting by visiting the MD Chapter’s photo gallery, then click on the April 7 event.