COLUMBUS, OH – For the 19th consecutive year, Ohio has retained its standing as the nation’s leader in the number of Tree City USA communities.
There are 220 participating cities, villages and municipalities participating in the national tree planting program.
Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director Sam Speck said Ohioans had planted more than 44,000 trees, pruned more than 115,000 trees, volunteered nearly 50,000 hours, and invested more than $31 million towards urban forestry efforts in the year 2000.
Tree City USA helps foster an appreciation for the important role trees play in a community’s environmental quality. It encourages citizens to become more involved in tree care and planting programs, which enhance their neighborhoods.
Active tree program.
Participating communities must establish a tree board or department to carry out a tree care program; enact and enforce a community tree ordinance to provide direction; fund the community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita; and celebrate Arbor Day with a community ceremony and proclamation from the mayor.
Since 1979, the ODNR Division of Forestry has assisted communities in establishing and maintaining comprehensive tree care programs. In 1997, Ohio became the first state to have more than 200 designated communities in any one year.
The Tree City USA program, created in 1976, is sponsored by the National Arbor Day Foundation, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities and the National Association of State Foresters.