COLUMBUS, Ohio – More than $2 million worth of timber sales from Ohio's state forests will help 16 rural school districts and their corresponding counties and townships throughout southern and eastern Ohio.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) announced Tuesday that its Trees to Textbooks program shared $2,038,898 this year with a dozen counties around Ohio.
ODNR Director James Zehringer recently visited the elementary schools of some districts receiving Trees to Textbooks funding, including Peebles Elementary School in Adams County, which received a check for $180,966 on Oct. 27. The students at these elementary schools attended assemblies where Smokey the Bear shared his wildfire safety message followed by a check presentation to the district.
“Sharing these funds locally helps communities provide essential services to and can go a long way in making good schools better,” said ODNR Director James Zehringer. “The natural resources in these areas provide a host of benefits, and this is one tangible way residents can benefit from their state forests.”
Through the ODNR Division of Forestry’s Trees to Textbooks program, a percentage of the revenue generated from state forest management activity goes to the county, township and school districts in which the activity took place. To see which local communities received Trees to Textbooks funding, visit the website here.
“Wisely managed forests are renewable natural resources,” said Robert Boyles, Ohio’s state forester. “We all benefit from sustainable forests, and these revenues can be invested in the education and maintenance of local communities.”
The ODNR Division of Forestry has been distributing timber revenues to counties and townships since the early 1980s. In 1999, the "Trees to Textbooks" program was started, and since that time, more than $27.2 million has been distributed to Ohio school districts and their corresponding local governments.
The ODNR Division of Forestry is responsible for the care of nearly 200,000 acres of state forests. State forestry experts manage these woodlands for overall health and diversity, soil and water conservation, improved wildlife habitat and a variety of recreational opportunities. Selected trees or areas of woodland are harvested through a competitive bid process, which includes requirements for sound management practices. All work is conducted by certified master loggers under strict monitoring.
The ODNR Division of Forestry works to promote the wise use and sustainable management of Ohio’s public and private woodlands. To learn more about Ohio’s woodlands, visit the website here. ODNR works to ensure a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website here.