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Saving trees, saving lives

Branching Out

The Arbor Day Foundation has named Blue Grass Energy Cooperative a Tree Line USA Utility for 2016 in honor of its commitment to proper tree pruning, planting, and care in its service area. It is the second such award for the cooperative.

“One of the many reasons Arbor Day’s Tree Line USA program is important to utilities is because properly pruned and maintained trees result in fewer downed lines during storms,” says Mike Williams, president and CEO of Blue Grass Energy. “That saves members money and helps keep rates as low as possible.”

To achieve this recognition, Blue Grass Energy must follow industry standards for quality tree care and provide annual worker training in best tree-care practices. It must also sponsor a tree-planting and public education program, maintain a tree-based energy conservation program, and participate in an Arbor Day celebration.

Students at Farristown Middle School in Berea participate in an Earth Day event sponsored by Blue Grass Energy.
Students at Farristown Middle School in Berea participate in an Earth Day event sponsored by Blue Grass Energy. The event is part of a comprehensive approach to caring for trees in the co-op’s service area. Photo: Denise Myers


Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives are partnering with the American Red Cross to improve emergency response services in Kentucky.

The cooperatives have partnered to acquire a new disaster relief vehicle, trailer, and emergency supplies, which will improve the Red Cross’ ability to provide emergency assistance to the 1.5 million Kentuckians served by electric cooperatives.

“At Cumberland Valley we have always been community-minded,” says Ted Hampton, president and CEO of Cumberland Valley Electric, a Touchstone Energy Cooperative. “Any help we can provide we are honored to do, particularly when we are able to help human to human.”

The Kentucky Region of the American Red Cross serves 119 counties through five regional chapters. The co-op sponsorship also helps support the American Red Cross Blood Bus Campaign.

Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives encourage members to draw on Red Cross emergency preparedness information before disasters strike. Access information in the Emergency Resource Library at under Get Help. The Red Cross also offers several mobile apps for safety in emergencies.

Debra Gibson Isaacs from October 2016 Issue

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