More than $2 million awarded in 2016 –
By Patricia Beech –
The students at Peebles Elementary School recently attended a “Trees to Textbooks” assembly featuring Smokey the Bear who shared his wildfire safety message followed by a check presentation to the district.
Officials from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Forestry presented a check to the school representing their share of timber sales revenues from Adams County’s State Forest as a part of the “Trees to Textbooks” program.
Superintendent Richard Seas joined the students and teachers to accept a $180,966 check for the Adams County Ohio Valley School District.
Following the presentation the student body sang “God Bless the USA” and had the opportunity to spend time with Smokey the Bear.
Through the ODNR Division of Forestry’s “Trees to Textbooks” program, a percentage of the revenue generated from state forest management activity goes to the county, township and school district in which the activity took place.
Sixteen rural Ohio school districts and their corresponding counties and townships shared more than $2 million from the sale of timber from Ohio’s state forests.
In total Adams County, along with various townships and school districts, received $581,709. In addition to the check presented to ACOVSD, Manchester Local School District received $109,888; the county received $145,427; Franklin Township received $54,944, Green Township received $18,957, and Jefferson Township received $71,525.
“Sharing these funds locally helps communities provide essential services and can go a long way in making good schools better,” said ODNR Director James Zehringer. “The natural resources in these areas provide a host of benefits, and this is one tangible way residents can benefit from their state forests.”
The ODNR Division of Forestry has been distributing timber revenues to counties and townships since the early 1980s. In 1999, the “Trees to Textbooks” program was started, and since that time, more than $27.2 million has been distributed to Ohio school districts and their corresponding local governments.
Other Counties, townships, and school districts in our area to receive funding included: Highland – $83,944; Hocking County$8,120; Pike County $99,708; Ross County $564,620; and Vinton County $365,261.
According to released information, the ODNR Division of Forestry is responsible for the care of nearly 200,000 acres of state forests. State forestry experts manage these woodlands for overall health and diversity, soil and water conservation, improved wildlife habitat and a variety of recreational opportunities.