Planting a tree is a great way to embrace fresh starts, which is why Black Hills Energy is giving away more than 1,000 free trees. Through a partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation’s …
Planting a tree is a great way to embrace fresh starts, which is why Black Hills Energy is giving away more than 1,000 free trees. Through a partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation’s Energy-Saving Trees Initiative, customers can claim a free tree.
“Trees clean our air and water, improve physical and mental health, and beautify our world. They also help us save energy, as a strategically-placed tree can save a homeowner up to 20% on energy costs,” Black Hills Energy said in a news release.
Trees, which were first made available on Earth Day, April 22, can be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis at www.arborday.org/blackhillsenergy. The 3- to 4-foot-tall dormant trees will be delivered directly to customers for spring planting from May through early June, and are small enough that they can be planted by an individual.
Mark Stege, Black Hills Energy’s vice president of operations for Wyoming, said participating in the program “offers us the opportunity to embrace new beginning, as well as the cleaner air, energy savings and other valuable benefits you gain by planting the right tree in the right place.”
“It’s also a reminder to keep looking forward to brighter days ahead,” Stege said, “as the tree and its many benefits take root.”
Since the Arbor Day Foundation program began in 2014, nearly 8,000 trees have been planted, and the benefits continue to grow as the trees do. In addition to energy savings, trees improve air quality, reduce stormwater runoff, reduce the urban heat island effect, and beautify the area around them.
“Strategically planted trees block the hot summer sun and cold winter winds to help cut energy usage without sacrificing comfort,” Stege said.
Black Hills Energy customers can use the www.arborday.org/blackhillsenergy site to quickly determine where to plant a tree to gain the most energy-saving benefits.
Black Hills also cautioned to “Call Before You Dig” to have underground utility lines marked. Call 811 at least two business days before you plan to dig — whether you are a homeowner planting a tree or a contractor excavating with a backhoe.
“Underground utility lines may be out of sight, but they should never be out of mind,” Stege said. “It only takes a minute to Call Before You Dig, and it can save untold time and trouble. Please follow the rules and dig safely. We want you and your family to enjoy your new tree for a long, long time.”
Other safety tips — such as using white spray-paint to mark the area you plan to dig before line locaters arrive — are available at www.blackhillsenergy.com/safety. Black Hills Energy provides natural gas and electricity in eight states, including providing gas in the Cody area.