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Arbor Day 2016

ECE helps Hinckley Elementary students celebrate Arbor Day – May 2, 2016

Fourth graders at Hinckley Elementary School enjoyed Arbor Day sunshine on April 29 and learned about the importance of trees with help from East Central Energy (ECE).

Each year, the electric cooperative works with a school in its service territory to plan and present an Arbor Day program. Approximately 60 students participated in this year’s event. They helped plant two flowering crabapple trees, donated by ECE for their school grounds. 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 Dave Auchter, forestry services manager 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. Loss Control and Emergency Preparedness Administrator Marc Dahlquist 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 Harlan Green, Joe Ramlet and Chris Roberts from Lake States Tree Service demonstrated their equipment and skills with a climbing demonstration and explained how and why branches are pruned. ECE contracts with Lake States and other companies to manage trees and brush in the co-op’s power line corridors.

Teacher Beau Whelan wrapped up the celebration by reading the Arbor Day proclamation. ECE provided a seedling to all Hinckley fourth graders, along with tree planting information and a tree identification booklet from the Arbor Day Foundation and the cooperative.

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