Pictured are the volunteers who took part in the annual Great Ohio Planting Day at Mt. Gilead State Park.

Courtesy | ODNR

MOUNT GILEAD — In an effort to educate and add to the tree canopy, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) joined Keep Ohio Beautiful for the annual Great Ohio Planting Day at Mt. Gilead State Park. Each year, Keep Ohio Beautiful celebrates Great Ohio Planting Day at a different state park to provide a firsthand educational program, which demonstrates how to properly prepare a planting site, plant, and care for a tree.

“Adding healthy, native trees to our state parks restores shade and wildlife habitat,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said. “People visiting Mt. Gilead and other parks will get to enjoy the benefits of these plantings for generations to come.”

The organizations worked with volunteers from Columbia Gas of Ohio and NiSource to beautify and enhance Mt. Gilead State Park’s campground by planting 25 large native trees. Funding for the project was provided to Keep Ohio Beautiful through the Columbia Gas Charitable Fund.

“Columbia Gas is pleased to continue its partnership with ODNR and Keep Ohio Beautiful,” Keep Ohio Beautiful board member and NiSource employee Kristy Monk said. “This partnership supports our mission of environmental stewardship while enhancing the visitor’s experience at Mt. Gilead State Park.”

Through the years, Keep Ohio Beautiful volunteers have planted more than 150 mature native trees at Alum Creek, Deer Creek, East Fork, and Mohican state parks.

As a state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, Keep Ohio Beautiful serves as Ohio’s umbrella organization for more than 40 local affiliate organizations in numerous Ohio communities. By providing a dedicated support system and the sharing of best practices, Keep Ohio Beautiful enables volunteers in communities throughout Ohio to improve waste handling practices, litter prevention, recycling, beautification, and community greening efforts.

For more information on Keep Ohio Beautiful, visit keepohiobeautiful.org.

Submitted by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.