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Federal Grants to Fight Emerald Ash Borer available for NE OH Communitites

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COLUMBUS, OH – Federal grant funds totaling $600,000 are available to communities impacted now or in the future by the emerald ash borer (EAB) in 61 Ohio counties, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Forestry. Grant funding, which requires a 50 percent local match, will support the removal and replacement of publicly owned ash trees by cities, villages and townships.

“These funds provided by the USDA Forest Service will aid local jurisdictions in the response and recovery of urban forests from EAB infestations,” said David Lytle, state forester and chief of the Ohio Division of Forestry. “Removing hazardous and soon to be hazardous trees from public streets and restoring lost canopy cover are the primary objectives of this grant program.”

Since the emerald ash borer was first discovered in northwest Ohio in 2003, millions of ash trees have been killed by this devastating invasive insect, which can claim the life of an otherwise healthy, mature tree in as little as one year. Due to the insect’s spread, many Ohio communities are now confronted with the costly expense of dead ash tree removal and replacement.

Communities in the following counties are eligible to apply for these Ash Removal and Canopy Restoration grant monies: Adams, Ashtabula, Athens, Belmont, Brown, Butler, Carroll, Champaign, Clark, Clermont, Clinton, Columbiana, Coshocton, Cuyahoga, Darke, Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Gallia, Geauga, Greene, Guernsey, Hamilton, Harrison, Highland, Hocking, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Knox, Lake, Lawrence, Licking, Logan, Madison, Mahoning, Meigs, Miami, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Morrow, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pickaway, Pike, Portage, Preble, Ross, Scioto, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, Tuscarawas, Union, Vinton, Warren, Washington and Wayne.

To access Ash Removal and Canopy Restoration grant instructions and application forms, go to http://www.ohiodnr.com/default/tabid/23073/Default.aspx or e-mail drew.todd@dnr.state.oh.us or call (614) 265-6707. Applications must be submitted electronically no later than close of business on December 15.

Healthy, safe and functional trees improve our cities and towns by enhancing clean air and water, increasing property values, reducing erosion and stormwater runoff, providing wildlife habitat, moderating temperature, lessening energy demands, and offering year-round enjoyment. For more information of the many benefits of trees, urban tree care and this grant program, visit www.ohiodnr.com/forestry.

Ohio grows more acres of trees than corn and soybeans combined. 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 Division of Forestry’s Web site at www.ohiodnr.com/forestry.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR Web site at www.ohiodnr.com.

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SwimSafe! At your Ohio State Park Pool or Beach

Beach Chairs and Sand Castles, Golden Lake
Image by Valley Vistas via Flickr

COLUMBUS, OH – With the upcoming Memorial Day holiday upon us, Ohio State Parks remind adult visitors to keep an eye on children in their charge when they go swimming.  This is the focus of SwimSafe!, a beach safety program in its 10th year, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

“Safety is an important part of a successful family outing in our parks,” said John Hunter, acting chief of Ohio State Parks.  “Our SwimSafe!program is a reminder that in addition to remembering the lotions, beach toys and snacks, parents and adult guardians must remember to be aware of their children during any outing to a state park beach.”

To fully enjoy a safe outing at a park beach, follow these SwimSafe! tips:

● Keep a sharp eye on young children while they are in or around the water.

● Swim only in designated areas at the beach and the lake.

● Lakes are not swimming pools, the water is murky and you may not see where it becomes deeper, so exercise caution.

● Bring a cell phone to make emergency calls if necessary.  Check to ensure there is cell phone service before swimming.

● Use the buddy system and designate one member of your party to remain on the beach to keep watch on the others while they are swimming.

● Alcohol and swimming do not mix.  Leave these beverages at home when you come to the beach.

● Enjoy the fun that water offers, but take regular breaks and relax on the beach.

● It just can’t be said enough, please keep an eye on the kids!

Ohio State Parks offer 78 beaches on 47 inland lakes in addition to nine beaches on Lake Erie.  There are also 20 swimming pools in the state park system.  Last year, more than 4.5 million people visited state park beaches and pools across Ohio.

Ohio State Parks are operated by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Parks and Recreation.  ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all.  Visit the ODNR Web site at www.ohiodnr.com.

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