COLUMBUS, OH - The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) recently planted 72,000 seedling trees on 99 acres of reclaimed mined lands at Fernwood State Forest in Jefferson County. Included in the conservation effort were trees designated as part of Ohio's Bicentennial Legacy Tree Planting Program. Governor Bob Taft introduced the program in 1999 with the goal of planting an additional 2,000,000 trees, one for each Ohio school child, by the 200th anniversary of Ohio statehood in 2003.“ These new trees are transforming 99 acres of grassland into forest cover,” said Sam Speck, director of ODNR. “By reforesting this area, we are providing a more diverse wildlife habitat and improving watershed protection for nearby Cross Creek.”
Purchased in 1961, the 3,000-acre Fernwood State Forest provides visitors with many outdoor recreational opportunities, including hiking, picnicking, hunting and fishing.
The reforestation is funded by a grant from American Forests, the nation’s oldest non-profit citizen conservation organization.