N E W S W I R E
ohio department of transportation internet news release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 30, 1999
ColumbusThe Ohio Department of Transportation began a legacy for Ohios children this month. The ODOT Legacy Tree Planting program, a project that will plant 210,000 trees a year along Ohios highways, began Nov. 1.
"ODOT is proud to be a partner in such an exceptional project," said ODOT Director Gordon Proctor. "The trees not only beautify these routes, they improve soil retention, reduce highway noise and improve air quality, which helps the department provide a quality transportation system."
ODOT is teaming up with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Ohio Bicentennial Commission to plant two million trees one for every school child in the state.
"This program is a group effort of several public and private organizations to recognize Ohios children as the future of our state. It leaves a living, growing monument of the people," said Debbie Brown, ODOT horticulturist and Bicentennial Legacy Planting Committee member.
ODOT is planting trees in various locations across the state, along exit ramps of state and interstate highways. Plantings have already begun in Franklin and Delaware counties, along the exits at Interstate 70 at West Broad Street, I-71 at Greenlawn Avenue, and I-71 at State Route 104. An Athens County planting is set to begin mid-December, and further plantings statewide will continue through 2003. Signs that read "Legacy Tree Planting....Ohio Bicentennial" will mark each planting site.
"The Bicentennial Legacy Trees will flourish for hundreds of years as a symbol of Ohio's commitment to our future and our environment," said Stephen C. George, executive director of the Bicentennial Commission. "It's a great project to celebrate Ohio's 200th birthday."
The department is planting 10,000 nursery trees and 200,000 seedlings annually. The trees consist of a variety of native Ohio species, both evergreen and deciduous. The trees were purchased from Ohio nursery growers, and the seedlings were grown by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry.