Ohio timber sales net $1.5 million for school districts, local gov’ts

    Students at a Vinton County elementary school are seen during a Trees to Textbook check presentation in 2015. File photo by the author.

    It’s a simple transaction: Ohio trees get cut down, the timber is sold and much of the proceeds benefit the local schools. 

    That is the purpose of Trees to Textbooks, a program in its 22nd year that has directed millions of dollars back to governments throughout Ohio.

    This year’s haul featured just over $1.5 million distributed to 13 counties, most of them located in the forested areas of Southern Ohio. Proceeds are divvied up to county governments, townships and the local school districts. View a map of the recipients here

    Among the biggest recipients were rural Ross, Scioto and Vinton counties, with their respective school districts each taking in more than $150,000, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources reported.

    ODNR Director Mary Mertz visited Portsmouth West Elementary School on Friday afternoon for a check presentation. These annual assemblies usually involve a visit from Smoky the Bear, who leads a fire safety lesson with students. 

    “The future of conservation depends on education,” Mertz said in a statement. “ODNR is proud to support Ohio’s schools and their students.”

    Gov. Mike DeWine said in the news release that the Trees to Textbook Program “not only supports sound forest management, but helps our schools prepare Ohio students for the future.”

    Tyler Buchanan
    Tyler Buchanan is an award-winning journalist who has covered Ohio politics and government for the past decade. A Bellevue native and graduate of Bowling Green State University, he most recently spent 6 1/2 years as a reporter and editor of The Athens Messenger and Vinton-Jackson Courier newspapers. He is a member of the BG News Alumni Society Board and was a 2019 fellow in the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism.