Ohio leads the nation in Tree City USA communities

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COLUMBUS - For the 22nd consecutive year, Ohio has retained its standing as the nation’s leader in the number of Tree City USA communities, with 231 participating cities, villages and municipalities, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Through this program, Ohioans planted nearly 46,000 trees, pruned more than 116,000 trees, volunteered nearly 38,500 hours and invested more than $34 million towards urban forestry efforts in 2002.

Tree program. Tree City USA encourages citizens to become more involved in tree care and planting programs, which enhance their neighborhoods.

Participating communities must meet the following criteria: 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.

Environment care. Since 1979, the 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.

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