Ohio leads nation in Tree Cities
COLUMBUS – Ohio remains the nation’s leader in Tree City USA communities with 244 participating cities, villages and townships. This marks Ohio’s 30th year as the top Tree City USA state, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Forestry.
“Half of Ohioans live and work in a Tree City USA, and they are enjoying a variety of benefits that come with having more trees, such as cleaner air and water, reduced stormwater runoff, and increased property values,” said Bob Boyles, state forester and chief of the ODNR Division of Forestry. “The Tree City USA program also helps communities deal with urban forestry challenges, such as the emerald ash borer.”
From the least populated Tree City USA community of Put-In- Bay to its largest city of Columbus, Ohioans in Tree City USA communities last year invested more than $36 million towards the planting and maintenance of their public rights-of-way and parks.
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 must 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.