- Associated Press - Friday, May 1, 2015

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The state says Ohio remains the national leader in the number of Tree City USA communities with 242 participating cities, villages and townships.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources says the honor marks Ohio’s 34th year at the top of the program.

Robert Boyles, the agency’s deputy director and state forester, said Thursday that communities across Ohio continue to recognize the value of trees as a source of cleaner air and water.

Ohioans last year planted more than 29,000 trees, pruned more than 83,000 trees, volunteered more than 8,000 hours in their urban forestry programs and invested more than $43 million toward city forestry efforts.

Ohio became the first state to have more than 200 Tree City USA communities in 1997.

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