ODOT seeking some tree-friendly communities


The Ohio Department of Transportation is accepting applications from communities willing to plant and maintain trees and other landscaping at their highway interchanges if the state provides the trees and planting materials.

The $500,000 Gateway Landscaping Program, funded through the federal Transportation Enhancement Program, is an extension of the Ohio Legacy Tree campaign, under which ODOT planted more than 2 million trees across Ohio between 1999 and 2003 on behalf of the state's school-age children.

In exchange for community maintenance commitments, ODOT will provide trees, soil, mulch, and stakes for interchange beautification.

"If a community wishes, it can enter into agreements on its own behalf with local businesses or other civic groups for a volunteer effort to help maintain that area," said Scott Lucas, ODOT's program manager.

Local government officials are advised to contact ODOT district offices if interested.