SIDNEY — The deadline to enter the city of Sidney’s Tree Lottery is June 30.
“Although the deadline is drawing near, there is still plenty of time to enter the city of Sidney’s first-ever street tree lottery,” said a city of Sidney press release. “The deadline is June 30, 2021. Entries are limited to one per property location. It is expected that 25 trees will be awarded this year.”
Residents who would like to have trees planted in the tree lawn on the street side of their home are encouraged to enter the lottery. The tree lawn is the public right-of-way between the curb and the sidewalk. To qualify, the tree lawn must be at least 3-feet in width.
The winning entries will be drawn on Aug. 6. A site survey of selected winners will be completed by the city’s arborist to ensure eligibility requirements are met and to determine the type of tree to be planted. The trees will be purchased and planted by the city of Sidney, although homeowners will be expected to provide routine maintenance for the newly-planted trees including keeping them watered.
The Sidney Tree Board formulated the idea as a way to encourage property owners, especially in areas of the city where there are few street trees, to plant appropriate street trees. There are almost no street trees in some of the newer subdivisions.
“When Mayor Barhorst and I attended the Tree Academy a couple of years ago,” Tree Board Member Anne Sharp said, “one of our class assignments was to survey a neighborhood and map the street trees. Ohio Department of Natural Resources Urban Forester Wendi VanBuren assisted us as we completed the project, and joined us in being surprised to find that there were almost no street trees in Stonebridge Estates and Plum Ridge.”
“Given the value of the homes in that area and the fact that a single tree can increase the value of a property as much as $5,000, we all expected to find street trees,” Sharp said. “It was something that we really didn’t notice until we walked the streets taking soil samples and conducting the inventory.”
“The city of Sidney has been recognized by the National Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree City since 1989,” Tree Board Chair Ann Asher said. “The lottery program is a new idea for Sidney, and a way for us to encourage residents to see the value of planting trees, as well as an effective way for us to meet the goal of remaining not just a Tree City, but one that strives to exceed the goals set by the National Arbor Day Foundation.”
“In 2019, we were honored to be named a Sterling Tree City,” Tree Board Vice-Chair Michael Jannides said. “That designation is achieved by few cities across the country. In fact, states such as Arkansas, Maine and New Mexico only have one Sterling Tree City in the entire state, and states like Connecticut, Louisiana, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Carolina and West Virginia only have two. Sidney has been able to accomplish more than many cities much larger in population due in large part to the volunteer efforts by community members.”
“Trees are such a vital part of our world,” city of Sidney Arborist Brian Green said. “They provide oxygen, support wildlife, filter our water and provide much needed shade in the summer months. Trees also help with noise reduction and help increase property values by as much as 15% versus a similar home without established trees. Not only are trees essential for life, but as the longest living species on earth, they provide a link between the past, the present and the future.”
Residents interested in submitting a tree lottery entry can visit www.sidneyoh.com/treelottery and complete the online form. Residents can also download, complete and return the entry form before midnight, June 30, or pick up an entry form from the city service center (415 S. Vandemark Road) during regular business hours.