Ohio was first explored for France in 1669, but became British property after the French and Indian Wars. It was acquired by the U.S. after the Revolutionary War in 1783. In 1788, the first permanent settlement was established. The 1790s saw severe fighting with the Indians in Ohio. It was part of the vast area ceded to the United States by the Treaty of Paris. Ohio became a territory in 1799. In 1802 a state convention drafted a constitution, and in 1803 Ohio entered the Union.
More than 2,500 plant species have been found in Ohio. The pitch pine, bigleaf magnolia, sourwood, witch-hazel, pawpaw, hornbeam, various dogwoods, species of oak, maple, poplar, ash, elm, hickory, birch, beech grow in the state, along with butternut, black walnut, wild black cherry, black locust, and sycamore. The eastern prairie fringed orchid, lakeside daisy and running buffalo clover are now listed endangered. White-tailed deer, badger, mink, raccoon, red and gray foxes, coyote, beaver, eastern cottontail, woodchuck, and opossum are found throughout the state’s wildlife districts. Acting on the premise that the largest problem facing wildlife is the destruction of their habitat, the Division of Wildlife of the Department of Natural Resources has instituted an ambitious endangered species program. 20 Ohio animal species are now endangered or threatened, including the bald eagle, Indiana bat, and piping plover.
With a commitment to green operations Ohio is implementing a wide variety green initiatives including: laundry water recycling and filtration system which conserves an estimated 26 million gallons of water each year; a food composting system; installation of Energy Control Systems in rooms of buildings and offices; advanced lighting control systems; transition to energy saving fluorescent light bulbs; motion sensor lights in public areas; upgrading to digital thermostats; low energy consumption water pumps in parks, and more. By actively trying to reduce carbon footprint, PITT Ohio is at the forefront in preserving the environment. They treat their business practices with an environmentally conscious approach. Their goal is to promote construction and maintenance of buildings that are environmentally responsible, efficient and healthy places to work. They work everyday to reduce carbon footprint by improving vehicle practices and retro fitting their facilities. PITT Ohio vehicles follow ‘no idling’ program that eliminates excess waste and pollution. Other facilities include: replacement of light bulb with more energy-efficient fluorescent compact eco bulbs; use of appliances that are Energy Star rated; use of touch-less faucets in kitchens and restrooms; engaging in waste product and paper recycling programs; engaging in clean-up programs like picking up litter, landscaping, gardening, etc.; using biodiesel and hybrid vehicles with a view to improving transportation, and reducing air pollution, green house gas emissions, and improving fuel efficiency.