By 1812Blockhouse; ODNR

In light of its longstanding commitment to conservation, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has embarked on a statewide initiative to plant commemorative trees in all 88 counties of Ohio. The ODNR Division of Forestry is spearheading this tree planting campaign in honor of its 75th anniversary, marking a significant milestone in the department’s history. The initiative aligns with the lead-up to Arbor Day on April 26, spotlighting the importance of Ohio’s native forests and the role they play in our environment and heritage.

Under the guidance of Governor Mike DeWine, this initiative is more than a ceremonial gesture—it’s a reaffirmation of ODNR’s dedication to conservation over the years. “These trees, which are native to Ohio, symbolize the importance of Ohio’s forests,” expressed Governor DeWine, emphasizing the enduring work of the Division of Forestry. With a selection of hardwood trees native to Ohio, including oak, maple, and sycamore, this effort roots itself deeply in the state’s ecological and cultural landscape. Each sapling, accompanied by an ODNR 75th anniversary commemorative sign, represents a growing legacy.

Ohio’s forests tell a story of transformation, from being 95% forested before European settlement to a dramatic decrease to about 10% at the turn of the century. Today, thanks to concerted conservation efforts, Ohio boasts a 30% forest cover, showcasing a significant rebound. ODNR Director Mary Mertz reflected on this journey, stating, “The fact that forest cover has grown over the last 75 years is a testament to what this division can do.” This narrative underscores the importance of the Division of Forestry, a foundational part of ODNR since its inception in 1949, in the conservation and growth of Ohio’s forests.

The Division of Forestry manages over 200,000 acres across 24 state forests, a testament to ODNR’s role in preserving Ohio’s natural resources. This anniversary planting is not just about adding trees to the landscape; it’s about acknowledging and expanding the benefits that trees bring to our communities. From clean air and water to wildlife habitat and sustainable forest products, trees are indispensable to Ohio’s ecosystem and its residents’ well-being.

Richland County joined the celebration with the planting of a burr oak in Malabar Farm State Park on April 4. This event is a microcosm of the statewide effort to engage communities in sustainable management practices that protect and nurture Ohio’s trees and forests. It highlights the collective responsibility of Ohioans to contribute to the health and growth of the state’s green spaces.

As Ohioans, we are reminded of the importance of trees and forests to our environment, health, and heritage, especially during the spring celebrations of Arbor Day and Earth Day. This initiative invites every citizen to participate in protecting and growing Ohio’s forested areas. It’s a call to action for sustainable management and active stewardship to ensure a healthy and productive environment for future generations.

Send us your news — of an announcement, event,
club news, fundraiser – whatever! It’s easy to do online.

Become a 1812Blockhouse Newsroom Member, support independent media in Richland County, and get access to the new Super Richland! Details here.
You May Also Like

Council Gets A First Look At A Proposed New-Look Main Street

By 1812Blockhouse In its almost 200 year history, Mansfield’s Main Street has…

Snow Trails Ski Shop Opens For Pre-Season

Starting November 7 the Ski Shop is operating with pre-season hours.

Free Fishing Weekend Set For Ohio

Special to 1812Blockhouse The free fishing weekend for Ohio residents is Saturday…

ODOT Road Project Update #2

NOTE: As of Sunday evening, ODOT District Three had not shared the regular…