The City of Urbana was recently named as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation for the 20th consecutive year. Earlier this month, an award ceremony for Central Ohio Tree City USA communities was held at Ariel Foundation Park in Mount Vernon, Ohio. Over 3,400 communities nationwide and over 200 communities in Ohio have been historically designated as Tree City USA communities. In addition to Urbana, other neighboring communities were also named as Tree City USA communities, including West Liberty, Bellefontaine, Springfield, Marysville, and London.
In order to be named as a Tree City USA, Urbana is required to have met the following standards each year: retention of an active tree board or department; establishment of a community tree ordinance; investment of at least $2 per capita into community forestry efforts, including volunteer time and donations; and the celebration and observance of Arbor Day.
Tree planting event
On the morning of Saturday, April 23, the Urbana Shade Tree Commission partnered with the Johnny Appleseed Educational Center and Museum to plant multiple Johnny Appleseed Apple Trees on the grounds of the former Browne Hall which was once part of the former Urbana University campus. This observance was held to celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day and to memorialize several honorees with these apple trees. Doug Crabill, Community Development Manager of the City of Urbana and Chairman of the Urbana Shade Tree Commission, was present to deliver a Mayoral Proclamation for Arbor Day and to assist with the tree planting efforts. Interestingly, the original source for these apples trees is a tree located on the Harvey-Algeo Farm in Savannah, Ohio, which has been authenticated as being the last known tree planted by John “Johnny Appleseed” Chapman.
The JA Foundation and JA Society planted trees in memory and honor of the contributions of Renee Besecker, Ann Corfman and Walter Reiner, all of whom made significant contributions to the development and work of these organizations. In addition to participating in the tree orchard planting, attendees enjoyed seeing the first stage of the Johnny Appleseed Children garden nearby and learned more about the ongoing progress and plans for bringing the Johnny Appleseed Museum back to life.
With Arbor Day being observed in the City of Urbana today, April 29 – which coincides with Arbor Day being observed statewide within the State of Ohio – Mayor Bill Bean recently delivered a proclamation to Urbana City Council. Within this proclamation, Mayor Bean encouraged local citizens “to support efforts to protect and nurture our trees and urban forest not just for the beauty they provide but for the benefits they give our residents and community.”
Info from Johnny Appleseed Education Center and Museum and the City of Urbana.