SIDNEY — The city of Sidney was named a 2019 Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation.
The announcement, made in advance of the April 29 celebration of Arbor Day, honors the city’s commitment to effective urban forest management.
This marks the 29th consecutive year that Sidney has received this honor.
To achieve Tree City USA recognition, cities must meet the program’s four requirements. Those requirements include: an active tree board; a tree-care ordinance; an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per resident; and, an Arbor Day observance and Mayor’s proclamation.
The Tree City USA program was begun in 1976. Started by the Arbor Day Foundation, the program partners with the United States Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters.
Sidney’s five-member Tree Board was created by the City Council in April 1989 to develop, annually update, and administer a written plan for the care, preservation, pruning, planting, replanting, removal, or disposition of trees and shrubs in parks, along streets, and in other public areas. The current members include Ann Asher, Michael Jannides, Ross Moore, Anne Sharp and Rick Steenrod.
“Tree City USA communities see the impact an urban forest has in a community first hand,” Arbor Day Foundation President Dan Lambe said. “Additionally, recognition brings residents together and creates a sense of community pride, both through volunteer engagement and public education.”
“Sidney is one of more than 3,500 cities nationwide that have obtained Tree City USA status,” Sidney Mayor Mike Barhorst said, “and 248 of those cities and villages are located in Ohio. Ohio has had more communities that have been designated tree cities than any other state, and we’ve held that designation for more than two decades. We are pleased to be one of those communities.”
“Trees provide multiple benefits to our community when they are properly planted and maintained,” Brian Green said. “They help to improve the visual appeal of neighborhoods, increase property values, reduce home cooling costs, remove air pollutants, provide habitat for wildlife, and a host of other benefits.” Green is an ISA Certified Arborist and Sidney’s street superintendent.
Ann Asher, Sidney’s longest serving member of the Tree Board and current chair, was also enthusiastic about trees.
“Trees on your property provide more than beauty — they increase the value of your home from 7 to 19 percent,” Asher stated. “New homeowners should work on landscaping early because it takes five to seven years for plants to mature, and certainly much longer for trees.”
“Homeowners should seek advice from a good professional landscaper who develops a plan for the site before planting,” Asher stated. “This can avoid planting the wrong tree or plant in the wrong location, resulting in overgrown plants that cover the windows of a house or trees with roots that buckle a driveway or sidewalk.”
“Following the tradition of recent years, the city of Sidney will plant a tree on the campus of one of the local schools on Arbor Day,” Green said. Green is Sidney’s liaison with the Tree Board.
“This year, Arbor Day will be celebrated at Northwood School, with the tree planting scheduled for 10 a.m. on May 8. I invite the public to join the mayor, the members of the Tree Board, the students and their teachers to join in planting the tree this year.”
The Arbor Day Foundation is a million member nonprofit conservation and education organization with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. Additional information is available online at arborday.org.