COLUMBUS — Ohio retained its standing this year as the nation’s leader in Tree City USA communities with 249 participating cities, villages and other municipalities.
Marks 28th year
This marks Ohio’s 28th year as the top Tree City USA state, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry.
As part of this nationwide program, Ohioans last year planted more than 49,000 trees, pruned more than 110,000 trees, volunteered more than 54,000 hours landscaping public parks and preserves and invested more than $38.6 million toward urban forestry efforts.
Since 1979, the ODNR Division of Forestry has assisted communities in enhancing the quality of life within cities and villages through comprehensive tree planting and care programs.
In 1997, Ohio became the first state to have more than 200 Tree City USA communities.
Participating communities establish a tree board or department to carry out a tree care program; enact 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 mayoral proclamation.
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.