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ECE helps Mora fourth graders celebrate Arbor Day

Fourth graders at Trailview Elementary School in Mora have a permanent, personal connection to two brand new flowering crabapple trees in front of their school.

The students will be able to say they helped plant those trees on Arbor Day 2018, with help from East Central Energy (ECE).

Each year, the electric cooperative works with a school in or near its service territory to plan and present an Arbor Day program. Approximately 140 students participated in this year’s event on April 27. The co-op’s Forestry Services team led discussion about the benefits of trees and the importance of choosing the right tree for the site. They emphasized proper tree planting practices, including watering, backfilling and mulching.

“The celebration is an opportunity for us to discuss the benefits of trees and encourage new generations to plant them wisely and care for them properly,” said Andy Olson, Forestry Services Supervisor at ECE. “The event is a fun and educational experience for our youth. We hope it leaves a lasting impression.”

ECE also spotlights electrical safety during the Arbor Day celebration. Engineering Manager Dave Waletski and Construction Maintenance Supervisor Troy Saunders used the co-op’s live tabletop display to explain the dangers of climbing trees near power lines and playing on or near electrical transformers. Students were reminded to stay away from downed power lines and to “Look Up, Look Out and Live.”

Arborists Jason Bittner and John Peck from Lake States Tree Service demonstrated their equipment and skills, explaining how and why hazardous branches are identified and removed. ECE contracts with Lake States and other companies to manage vegetation in the co-op’s power line corridors.

The event ended with a reading of the Arbor Day proclamation. ECE provided a “wire friendly” seedling to all Mora fourth graders, along with tree planting information, a tree identification booklet from the Arbor Day Foundation and the cooperative, and a coupon from Subway® for a free cookie. Subway is a community sponsor in the co-op’s energy and safety presentations.

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