Tree City USA Awards ceremony postponed to June

SIDNEY — The Tree City USA Awards ceremony to be hosted by the city of Sidney in April has been postponed until June.

As part of the city of Sidney’s Bicentennial celebration, the Sidney Tree Board has been planning to host this year’s Southwest Ohio Tree City USA Awards ceremony. According to a press release from the city of Sidney, the event was scheduled to be held at Sidney’s Senior Center, 304 S. West Ave., on Friday, April 17. The celebration has been tentatively rescheduled for June 19.

“While we are certainly disappointed the COVID-19 pandemic has already impacted a number of our Bicentennial events, we are optimistic the Tree City USA Awards ceremony can be rescheduled for later in the year when the crisis has passed,” said Sidney Mayor Mike Barhorst, who also co-chairs the Sidney Bicentennial Committee and was to serve as the host-mayor of this year’s Southwest Ohio awards ceremony.

“Earlier (Tuesday) I spoke with Tree Board Chair Ann Asher and city of Sidney Arborist Brian Green,” Barhorst continued, “and together we determined that it would be imprudent to continue planning the event at this time.

“The Tree Board and event planning committee have been hard at work for several months fine-tuning the details of the event,” Barhorst said. “We want to ensure the attendees can attend the event without concern for their health and safety and simultaneously allow us to showcase the Sidney community.”

Asher noted that several communities that comprise the Southwest Ohio District as well as the state agencies involved in the event have enacted travel bans for their employees.

“Our featured speaker as well as the officials from the Ohio Division of Forestry are under travel bans following Governor Mike DeWine’s Public Health Orders,” Asher said. “Given the planning that has gone into this event, it simply makes sense to reschedule it to a time we hope the crisis will have passed.“

The committee has tentatively scheduled for June 19 as the date when the event will be held. The venue will not change.