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Planting Trees And Saving Energy

A friend to trees
Owen Electric Cooperative was Tree Line Certified by the Kentucky Department of Forestry, the first electric cooperative to receive this designation. To earn the honor, the cooperative had to demonstrate stewardship with trees, prove that they were actively educating the community about the importance and maintenance of trees, and observe tree-friendly practices in terms of right-of-way tree trimming.

One of Owen Electric’s recent projects in this regard was done in cooperation with the Owen County Cooperative Extension Service. The 4-H agents in each of six counties developed a plan to collectively plant 1,000 tree saplings. Some involved schools and parks. Others, such as Pendleton County, had a paper collection project involving fourth-graders. That county recycled 5,258 pounds of paper, with each student receiving a tree to plant.

“Tree Line USA’s promotion of quality tree care, worker training, tree planting, public education, tree-based energy conservation, and Arbor Day celebration fit nicely with Owen Electric’s values of stewardship and commitment to community,” says Mark Stallons, president/CEO of Owen Electric. “Our line clearance professionals have taken it upon themselves to adhere to best practices in maintaining our right-of-way to ensure the delivery of reliable power.”

Efficiency at home
Some 650 people visited the West Kentucky Rural Electric Cooperative’s booth at the Murray Home, Lawn and Farm Show this year. In a partnership with the Tennessee Valley Authority, West Kentucky Co-op staff gave away energy-efficient CFL bulbs and other prizes as they talked with community members about the cooperative’s many efficiency programs.

“We want all members to know about all the programs available to them,” says David E. Smart, West Kentucky Co-op president and CEO. “We believe a better educated member is a wiser end-user of electricity.” This was the second year the co-op took part in the show.

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