COLUMBUS – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources celebrated the 25th anniversary of its Northwest Ohio Field Windbreak Program this spring by planting a record 104 miles of trees to protect farmland soil from erosion.
A total of 61 field windbreaks were planted in nine northwestern Ohio counties – the largest such planting in the program’s 25 year history.
A total of 54,000 seedlings, including hardwood trees, conifers and shrubs, were planted in Allen, Defiance, Fulton, Henry, Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert, Williams and Wood counties.
Putting down roots.
Since 1977, more than 700 row miles of windbreaks have been planted as part of the program, which is open to landowners in a total of 17 Ohio counties where soil erosion from wind is a special problem.
Landowners participate in the program voluntarily.
The Ohio Division of Forestry coordinates the program, assisted by local soil and water conservation districts, USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service and Farm Service Agency, Pheasants Forever, and Ohio’s divisions of forestry, soil and water conservation and wildlife.
Among the species planted in the Northwest Ohio Windbreaks Program this spring were arborvitae, white pine, Norway spruce, Austrian pine, pin oak, English oak, silky dogwood, black chokeberry, European black alder, American cranberry bush, blackhaw, American plum and Sargent crabapple.
Most of this spring’s record-setting planting was due to participation in the Lake Erie Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program along tributary streams in northwest Ohio.
Announced last April by Governor Bob Taft, the $201 million conservation partnership between the State of Ohio and the USDA will protect Lake Erie and 5,000 miles of Ohio streams by reducing soil erosion and runoff pollution in the lake’s northwest Ohio watersheds.
The federal/state program pays farmers and other landowners to plant trees and establish conservation buffers along tributary streams in 27 northwest Ohio counties.