ODNR Recognizes Forest of Honor Inductees

Staff Report

COLUMBUS – Three outstanding individuals and one organization were honored Thursday with a tree planting ceremony at the ODNR Division of Forestry’s Forest of Honor ceremony at Zaleski State Forest near McArthur, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

“Active and wise forest management leaves a positive legacy for generations to come,” said Robert Boyles, Ohio’s state forester. “This year’s inductees exemplify practicing and sharing good forest stewardship.”

Jack and Janet Sweigart

Jack and Janet devoted many years and countless hours to promoting forestry on their 52 acres of woodland and spreading the word of good stewardship and conservation throughout northwestern Ohio and beyond. They initially purchased 40 acres of woods and farmland in Allen County from Jack’s father in 1972, and they soon contacted Service Forester Mike Jurkiewicz at the Findlay Division of Forestry office for assistance in planning a tree planting. The Sweigarts steadily progressed from being learners to teachers through the forestry practices they did and the various trainings they experienced. After Jack passed away in 2009, Janet continued the legacy until she passed away in 2016. The Sweigarts left an indelible mark on Ohio forestry, foresters, fellow landowners and tree farmers, children, grandchildren and many others.

Mark J. Hoenigman

Mark has faithfully and generously contributed to the arboriculture industry at the local, state, national and international levels with a long-term commitment to education, best management practices, science and research in the field of arboriculture. Mark has provided leadership to the arboriculture industry by: pioneering the use of the air knife for large tree moving and plant health care; adapting and implementing the use of stereo imaging to the study of tree biomechanics; and by being a driving force in a local group of arborists who have joined together to educate young arborists, the Ohio Independent Arborist Association. The research that Mark has fostered and sponsored has become a widely-used industry standard. The ODNR Division of Forestry’s urban forestry program has significantly benefited from Mark’s service.

National Wild Turkey Federation

The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) in Ohio has been an important partner to the ODNR Division of Forestry. NWTF maintains a representative on the Ohio Forest Stewardship Committee, which provides guidance and input on the division’s private lands programs. They also hold positions on committees of key partner organizations involved in private lands conservation work in Ohio, and they have partnered with and supported many projects and programs, including public outreach events, involving the division. The Ohio NWTF’s partnership with and support of ODNR and the Division of Forestry have directly led to furthering sustainable forestry practices on private, state, and federal lands; treatment of invasive plants to the benefit of the forest resource; enhanced wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities; and increased public awareness of the importance of well-managed forests.

Three trees were planted in the Forest of Honor for these recipients; to honor the Sweigarts for their significant educational outreach, to recognize Hoenigman for being instrumental in developing and implementing successful improvements to arboriculture and urban forestry practices; and to recognize the NWTF for significantly advancing Ohio forestry.

The ODNR Division of Forestry works to promote the wise use and sustainable management of Ohio’s public and private woodlands. To learn more about Ohio’s woodlands, forest health and tree care, visit forestry.ohiodnr.gov.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.


Staff Report