Ada, Ohio has been named Tree City USA this past year in 2019. Ada has been known as Tree City USA since 1977. The Arbor Day Foundation gives the Tree City USA title. It recognizes the higher levels of tree care by participating communities. Not only is Ada named Tree City USA, but Ohio Northern University is designated a Tree Campus USA. It is one of the first college campuses in Ohio with this designation.

Two trees in front of Founders Hall, one of the freshmen dorms, are shading the sidewalk as their leaves begin to fall.

There are four different standards that a city has to meet before they are given this award. The first standard is where someone has to be legally responsible for taking care of the trees. The responsibility is done by a professional forester, arborist, city department, or a citizen-led tree board. The leaders of the city will determine who gets the necessary parts. Usually, the staff and the advisory tree board are responsible.

The second standard is a tree care ordinance. The tree care ordinance forms the foundation of the care program for the city. There are qualifying ordinances that establish the tree board and the forestry department. One section includes the public tree care and the other plans the work to stay on track with the annual tree care activities. The qualifying ordinances also help guide the maintaining, planting, and/or removal of trees from parks or other public places. 

On Ohio Northern University’s campus in front of the Freed Center for the Performing Arts, a tree is at its peak right before Autumn.

The third standard is a community forestry program with a budget of at least $2 per capita or person. Not only do trees provide many benefits, such as clean air, clean water, and allow for a beautiful campus, they also require an investment to remain sustainable. By giving at least $2 per capita, it shows that the community is willing to grow and has a commitment to do so.

To reach this standard, the city must keep track of the $2 per capita toward the planting care and removal of city trees. If this isn’t met it means the city is neglecting the care of the trees and will cost a lot more in the future. It shows that Ada is keeping track of the community’s budget priorities. 

The fourth standard is holding an Arbor Day ceremony.

Arbor Day is where citizens of the community come together to celebrate the healthy trees and benefits that follow. When a town recites the Arbor Day proclamation it shows their support for the tree program. With this, it completes the required standards for becoming a Tree City. This ceremony also gives citizens the knowledge on how to properly take care of the trees. Ada holds their Arbor Day celebration with the third graders at the Ada schools, according to the Mayor, David Retterer.

Ada, Ohio has held up to all of these standards since 1977 and continues to do so to this day. If you would like to see the trees on the campus of Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio click on the video below.

Having strong and healthy trees throughout the town and on the campus of Ohio Northern University provides not only citizens but students with fresh air, clean water and so much more. “Hard work and dedication by the great members of the Tree Commission and the village as well as some financial help from individuals and some physical labor by individuals in the community including students at ONU”, stated by Mayor David Retterer, helps Ada keep the title of Tree City USA.

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