“Arbor Day is not like other holidays. Each of those reposes on the past, while Arbor Day proposes for the future.”
– – J. Sterling Morton, founder of Arbor Day
Hartington, Neb. – As J. Sterling Morton expressed, Hartington will have a few more trees growing in the future following a special Arbor Day event on Wednesday, April 26. The event, which will involve approximately 150 elementary school students from Hartington, is being hosted jointly by the Nebraska Public Power District, the City of Hartington, the Hartington Tree Board, and the Lewis and Clark Natural Resource District.
For several years, NPPD has worked with various retail communities it serves to conduct an annual Arbor Day event. Hartington was chosen for 2017 to plant trees needed at the new fire station and for the continuing effort at tree planting in the community led by the Hartington Tree Board. Four trees are being donated by NPPD to be planted at the fire station along with some shrubs.
“Planting trees at the fire station, and recognizing Arbor Day, is a positive partnership between NPPD and the Hartington community,” said Hartington Mayor Brad Peitz. “We appreciate the involvement of all the students participating and the Hartington Tree Board, the Lewis and Clark Natural Resource District and NPPD’s help in organizing this event.”
Although this Arbor Day activity will be a few days prior to the official date (the last Friday in April for Nebraska), second, third and fourth grade students from Hartington-Newcastle School District and Holy Trinity School will be participating hands on – helping to plant trees and shrubs at the Hartington Fire Hall located at 203 East Franklin Street. Students are also preparing several posters related to Arbor Day, which originated in Nebraska in 1872 when one million trees were planted in the state.
The student participants will also hear messages on the importance of trees, how to be safe around them, and appropriate locations for planting trees. The activity will begin at 1:45 p.m. and run until approximately 3 p.m.
Steve Rasmussen, District Forester with the Nebraska Forest Service, will provide students with information about proper tree planting tips. Ron Lammers and Chris Bartling, NPPD line technicians based in Hartington will talk about tree planting with the focus on “the right tree, the right place.” Annette Sudbeck, general manager of the Lewis and Clark Natural Resource District, will distribute to each of the participating students seedlings, provided by the natural resources district, which can be planted at their homes.
“Hosting the annual Arbor Day event is a great opportunity to show NPPD’s support for the Hartington community,” said NPPD Account Manager Cathy Kathol. “It is a great way to explain and teach customers and school children about NPPD’s vegetation management practices and promote electrical safety and education of the hazards of planting trees near overhead power lines and other electric facilities.
“We very much appreciate the support from the city, the Tree Board and the Lewis and Clark Natural Resource District in planning this event.”
NPPD was recently recognized by Tree Line USA for the 12th consecutive year for meeting the organization’s standards including training employees in quality tree care and educating the public on tree planting for energy conservation and appropriate planting near power lines.
The Tree Line USA program recognizes electric utilities that demonstrate practices which protect and enhance America’s rural and urban trees. NPPD’s membership in the Tree Line USA program, sponsored by the National Arbor Day Foundation, provides an avenue to help promote the safety and reliability of power lines through public education programs about the proper planting of trees and vegetation.
NPPD has been recognized over the years for its professional arboriculture practices along power lines. The utility maintains vegetation on more than 5,200 miles of transmission and sub-transmission lines across the state to ensure a reliable electric system. This program protects the public safety for customers, remains compliant with federal regulations, and minimizes the cost of future maintenance.
NPPD follows proper tree-trimming guidelines set by the National Arbor Day Foundation, Utility Arborists Association, International Society of Arboriculture, and the Tree Care Industry Association.