Home News Shawnee State Forest Set to Expand Thanks to $709,900 Grant

Shawnee State Forest Set to Expand Thanks to $709,900 Grant


Columbus, Ohio – March 5, 2024 – In a move applauded by local officials and environmental advocates, the Ohio Controlling Board has approved the release of $709,900 for the expansion of Shawnee State Forest. The funding, allocated to the Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry, will facilitate the acquisition of 250 acres of land spanning Nile Township in Scioto County and Green Township in Adams County.

Previously owned by The Nature Conservancy, the newly acquired land is poised to return “authority over the land back in the hands of local leaders,” according to State Representative Justin Pizzulli (R-Scioto County). Pizzulli expressed his satisfaction with the decision, highlighting that it addresses the concerns raised by township trustees and paves the way for “vital tax revenue” to eventually flow back to the 90th district.

“It’s also important to protect our natural resources so that our families can live off this land,” Pizzulli further emphasized, expressing his delight at seeing the land “come back to the people.”

This significant development marks the first land acquisition under the recently established H2Ohio Rivers program, an initiative funded by the broader H2Ohio Initiative. The H2Ohio Initiative, launched in 2019, aims to improve water quality and address algal blooms in Ohio’s waterways. The specific goals of the H2Ohio Rivers program are yet to be fully outlined, but this initial land acquisition suggests a focus on land conservation and potentially, the restoration of natural ecosystems surrounding waterways.

The expansion of Shawnee State Forest is expected to benefit the local community by providing increased opportunities for outdoor recreation, promoting environmental protection, and potentially contributing to the economic well-being of the region.