Longtime Chillicothe Tree Commission Member Honored With Shelter Dedication

Presented By Rathkamp Financial

(Chillicothe) – A longtime member of the Chillicothe Tree Commission and original coordinator for Ohio’s Millennium Grove Park now has that parks shelter renamed in his honor. Duane “Whitey” Coates and his family were at the grove for the official shelter house sign unveiling Saturday.

Located in Ohio Millennium Grove Park
“Whitey” Coates and Family

Chillicothe Parks & Recreation Director Bill Bonner served as the Master of Ceremonies for the event.

Here’s a history of the Millennium Grove Park and Duane “Whitey” Coates involvement:

Ohio’s Millennium Grove is approximately 10 acres of 100 historical trees, a half mile walking path and a picnic shelter. The grove was started at the turn of the millennium as part of the USDA project to honor the new millennium, a national project by the Clinton administration.

Executive order 13072 in 1998 by President Bill Clinton created the Whitehouse Millennium Grove Council, headed by Hillary Clinton. The theme was honoring the past-imagine the future. Ohio initially rejected the grove, the reason being it came from a Democratic source. Over time the decision was overturned, and Ohio gave the go ahead for the grove.

Instead of five groves around the state, Chillicothe was given the entire grove because it already had a tree commission and was a Tree City USA. Incidentally, Chillicothe was also Ohio’s first and third capital and has a great historical background.

The newest member of the tree commission was then, 74-year-old, C. Duane “Whitey” Coates. Although the newest member of the Tree Commission, Mr. Coates was quite the tree expert and known go-getter when given a task or project. He was a natural choice to spearhead the project. Mr. Coates left no stone unturned in picking out the best location and getting the land donated. He also requested and received seeds from all 100 historical trees. The original plan was to get five groves of trees to be placed at five different locations around the state. Each tree has significant historical ancestry and is a direct descendant of a tree that is in some way, related to an event, place or person.

Chillicothe received the 100 trees in the fall of 2001, seedlings 1’ to 2’ feet high. They were planted in the West Fifth Street nursery. In the fall of 2003, the Chillicothe Tree Commission transplanted the trees from the nursery to their current location, in the grove on North Bridge Street.

Ohio’s Millennium Grove consists of 100 historical trees, divided into seven glades: famous men, famous women, civil war north, civil war south, the presidents, Ohio history and American history. The
design of the grove was developed by landscape architect, Mike Deeter of Lima, Ohio. Mr. Deeter was the pro-bono architect assigned to the Ohio grove. In the 20 plus years since the conception of the project, the trees in the grove have matured and grown, giving it a good look that will only improve with time.

As Ohio’s Millennium Grove continues to take shape, it is the most extensive and unique of all the groves established by Executive Order 13072. Most of the planned groves never got started and the ones that did, didn’t last. It is possible that fewer than five of the original groves exist and none of them have all 100 trees. Making the grove located in Chillicothe even more unique.

To celebrate this special place and to give it the proper attention it deserves, overtime we will feature all 100 trees in the grove. The two trees that have been to the moon and back, are probably considered the most famous of the trees, and they do have a great story behind them, but all the trees have a great history. One of the featured trees is a willow tree that came from Napoleon’s grave site, via President Andrew Johnson’s estate.

The silver maple in Chillicothe’s Millennium Grove comes from Harry Truman’s 598-acre farm in Grandview Missouri. Harry S. Truman was the 33rd president of the United States, serving from 1945 to 1953. He was the 34th vice president of the United States from January 1945 to April 1945 under Franklin D. Roosevelt, during Roosevelt’s short and unprecedented fourth term.

CRP Grassland Signups For Jackson, Pike, Vinton & Scioto Counties

Presented By Chillicothe VAMC

Signup for the Grassland provisions of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) will run through May 13, 2022.

This is a working grasslands provision of CRP that allows landowners to offer hay and/or pasture acres that will remain in forage production for a 10 or 15 year contract period (subject to certain restrictions during the nesting season of March 1 through July 15).  

While this program benefits acreage being used for hay and pasture, the program can also apply to fields simply being maintained in grass cover.  CRP Grassland acres receive a smaller annual rental payment than other CRP options since the acres can continue to be used as hay or pasture.  The benefit that most producers need is that contract acres are eligible for cost share assistance of 50% on fence, water systems, and certain management practices like brush control. 

The 2022 rental rates per acre are: Jackson, Pike, and Vinton Counties – $32; Scioto County – $35. 

To discuss the program in more detail or to make an appointment to talk about the program, call the Jackson-Vinton-Scioto-Pike FSA Office at 740-286-5208 extension 2 or 740-259-3075 extension 2.

State Funding Increased for Ohio Bridge Projects

Presented By Horizon Connects

The Ohio Department of Transportation has announced an increase in Ohio’s yearly funding allocation for local bridge projects by $47.5 million for the next five years, bringing Ohio’s annual investment in county and municipal bridges to $112.5 million per year.

Courtesy of ODOT

Funding provided by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) for bridges maintained by the state’s 88 county engineers will increase from $34 million to $74 million annually, and municipal-owned bridge funding will increase from $11 million to $18.5 million each year.

The additional $47.5 million is part of the $104 million in bridge funding that Ohio will receive in each of the next five years as part of the recently enacted federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The law requires Ohio to invest $15.6 million of the $104 million each year into bridges owned by municipalities, townships, and counties, but Governor DeWine’s announcement today more than triples the amount going to local communities.

Small locally-owned bridges will also be eligible for funding as part of ODOT’s Local Major Bridge Program, bringing the total number of eligible bridges from 54 to 238. The program pays for up to 80 percent of the construction and engineering costs for major bridge projects with a cap of $20 million.

“ODOT will continue to aggressively address bridges throughout the state that are under our jurisdiction while at the same time doing everything we can to ensure our local partners have the resources they need to address their most critical issues,” said ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks.

Local governments can apply for ODOT funding through the ODOT Office of Local Programs website. Ohio’s 88 County Engineers will continue to apply for funding through dedicated programs managed by the County Engineers Association of Ohio.

ODOT’s total local bridge investment of $112.5 million in each of the next five years combines the new federal funding with other programs that aid local governments. The total investment for both state and local bridges is $407.5 million per year.

Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame Nominations Open

Presented By Scioto Valley Dumpsters, LTD

(Columbus) The deadline for submitting nominations for the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame is nearing. Originated in 1992, the Hall of Fame recognizes those who served in the U.S. Armed Forces and continue to contribute to our communities, state, and nation through exceptional acts of volunteerism, advocacy, professional distinction, public service, or philanthropy.

Each year, the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame inducts up to 20 veterans based on recommendations from an Executive Committee of veterans from throughout the state and approval from the Governor of Ohio.

Last year, the Hall of Fame inducted the Class of 2021 in a series of regional ceremonies due to the ongoing concerns with the COVID-19 pandemic. With plans to return to a traditional ceremony in the fall, it is once again time to illuminate outstanding service after service.

The deadline to submit nomination forms for consideration for the 2022 class of the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame is June 1. Don’t delay. Nominate a worthy candidate today.

You more than likely know a veteran who continues to serve selflessly in his or her post-military life — a former service member who is going above and beyond to impact others.
(Note: The Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame accepts nominations for those who would be inducted posthumously.) 

To be considered, the veteran must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a past or current Ohio resident
  • Have received an honorable discharge
  • Be of good moral character

This Hall of Fame sets the standard for recognizing Ohio’s veterans for accomplishments beyond their military service. It is also a fitting way to say “thank you for your service to our nation and thank you for your continued service to our communities.”

Nomination guidelines, a sample of a completed nomination form, and more information are available at our Hall of Fame Nomination page.

You can also learn more about the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame and see the complete list of Hall of Fame inductees.

Call (614) 752-8941 or email halloffame@dvs.ohio.gov