Bellefontaine Shade Tree VolunteerBellefontaine, Ohio
Small City Takes Steps to Proactively Counter Invasive Insect
When Shelley Moore first learned about Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) in Ohio, she expected the worst. This invasive borer was working its way across the state and it would not be long before Bellefontaine's white ash trees would be gone.
That's when Shelley found out about the Ohio Division of Forestry's EAB program. The division was offering technical assistance and U.S. Forest Service funding to help municipalities remove and replace white ash trees on public property.
Shelley worked with city officials to obtain one of the grant awards. "I was able to get the Street Department on board and they were very cooperative," said Shelley. "They did the removals which meant most of our grant money was used to replant."
After the vulnerable ash trees were taken down the grant funds were used to plant 185 trees using nine different species to assure diversity and protection against future devastation. Shelley said, "We needed a sense of urgency to make sure we addressed the EAB issue. Without the grant, we could not have replanted the number of trees we did."
Shelley also believes the grant helped citizens deal with the impending loss of their ash trees. "It was just devastating when people saw all these trees being cut down," Shelley says. "What we were doing helped ease our citizen's minds. It brought a sense of awareness that our trees won't last forever unless you protect and manage them."