Fifteen rural Ohio school districts and their corresponding counties and townships will share $2,054,354 from the sale of timber from Ohio’s state forests, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). This is an increase in the amount of funding available to local schools; last year a total of $1,765,245 was distributed.
ODNR Director James Zehringer visited Central Elementary School in McArthur to attend a Trees to Textbooks ceremony and to help Smokey Bear share his fire safety message with the students.
“This program provides an excellent opportunity for these communities to benefit from the natural resources found right in their backyards,” Zehringer said. “We understand how important these funds are to the local schools, counties and townships as they work to provide their students and residents with a great education and safer communities.”
“These revenues are an investment in the education and maintenance of our local communities,” said Robert Boyles, ODNR deputy director and state forester. “Well-managed public and private forests have far-reaching benefits for us all.”
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 district in which the activity took place. To see which local communities received Trees to Textbooks funding, go to http://forestry.ohiodnr.gov/portals/forestry/pdfs/ttt/TreesToTextbooksFY15.pdf.
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 that includes requirements for sound management practices. All work is conducted by certified master loggers under strict monitoring.