Probably few people know it, but the Buckeye State enjoys the distinction of being the nation's leader in Tree City USA communities. With 249 participating towns, this marks Ohio's 28th year as the top Tree City USA state, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry reported last week.
And, as if this wasn't enough to be proud of, Columbiana County residents can boast that we have six of those Tree City communities right here. East Palestine, Leetonia, Lisbon, Minerva, Salem and Wellsville have all earned the designation.
Lisbon has been among Ohio's Tree Cities for all 28 of Ohio's top designation years.
Tree City USA communities must meet the following criteria to receive the designation: 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 and a proclamation from the mayor.
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.
As Earth Day is celebrated this week it's refreshing to know that many of our local communities are taking conservation efforts to heart and helping to make this a better place to live. We encourage all Columbiana County communities to do the same.