CENTERVILLE — Sidney Mayor Mike Barhorst was recently presented the “Golden Shovel” at the Southwest Ohio Tree City USA Awards Program by Centerville Mayor Brooks Compton. The banquet was hosted by the city of Centerville.
The Golden Shovel is traditionally passed by the mayor of the host city to the mayor of the following year’s host city.
Sidney will host the annual Southwest Ohio Tree City USA Awards program on April 17, 2020, as part of the Sidney’s bicentennial celebration.
Compton also presented Barhorst with an ironwood tree, which is Centerville’s official tree. The ironwood tree presented to Sidney has been planted at the Senior Center of Sidney-Shelby County.
Compton also presented Barhorst with a horsechestnut tree, and announced the city of Centerville would be presenting horsechestnut trees to all the award recipients attending the Tree City USA Awards Ceremony. The horsechestnut tree presented to Sidney has been planted at Graceland Cemetery.
In addition to Barhorst, Parks and Recreation Director Duane Gaier, retired city employee and Certified Arborist Joyce Reier, Tree Board Vice Chair Mike Jannides and Tree Board member Ann Sharp represented the city of Sidney at the Tree City USA Awards Ceremony.
During the ceremony, the city of Sidney was again named a Tree City USA. Sidney has received annual recognition as a Tree City since 1989.
Ohio continues to be the top state in the country with the most Tree City USA communities, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Forestry. In 1997, Ohio became the first state to have more than 200 Tree City USA communities.
The city of Sidney again achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the program’s four requirements. Those requirements include having a tree board, a tree-care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita and an Arbor Day observance and a mayor’s proclamation issued.
“The city of Sidney has been fortunate to have had leadership that recognized the importance of trees, and how they can enhance urban life,” Jannides said. “Urban trees improve the livability of our community for a host of reasons — perhaps the most important being air quality, storm water management and the cooling effect of the urban canopy.”
“We enjoy a great working relationship with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Urban Forester Wendi Van Buren,” Gaier said. “She has been extremely helpful to us as we work to improve Sidney’s urban forest, which of course, includes Tawawa Park.”
“We are looking forward to hosting the many Tree City USA communities from southwest Ohio during our bicentennial celebration,” Barhorst said. “Southwest Ohio’s Urban Forest District includes communities in Adams, Brown, Butler, Clinton, Clermont, Darke, Greene, Hamilton, Highland, Miami, Montgomery, Preble, Shelby, and Warren counties. It will mark the first time Sidney has hosted the event, and we look forward to hosting the event as a part of our bicentennial celebration.”
The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters.