Dakota City, Neb. – Arbor Day rolls around the last Friday in April for Nebraska, but Nebraska Public Power District is going to get a jump start on the event on Thursday, April 26. And the fourth and fifth grade students at Dakota City Elementary School are going to be the focal point of the community where some trees will be planted.
Arbor Day activities will be held at the new Dakota City Fire Hall, 208 S. 21st Street, running from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Students from the school will be involved in the planting of trees around a memorial to be constructed in the northeast corner of the fire station lot, that will honor fallen firefighters from the community.
“Planting trees at the fire station as part of a memorial for Dakota City’s fallen firefighters and in observation of Arbor Day demonstrates a positive partnership between NPPD and the Dakota City community,” said Dakota City City Administrator Alyssa Silhacek. “We appreciate Dakota City Elementary School’s participation and NPPD’s assistance in organizing this event and supplying the trees.”
The ceremony will include remarks from Nathan Abels, NPPD Journey Line Technician based in South Sioux City, who will talk about tree planting with the focus being “the right tree, the right place” in connection with overhead power lines. He will be joined by a number of his South Sioux City colleagues. Silhacek will provide comments related to the planned memorial and the planting of trees at the site, and Graham Herbst from the Nebraska Forest Service will provide students proper tree planting tips. Once those messages are completed, students will join in the planting of the trees.
For several years, NPPD has worked with various retail communities it serves to conduct an annual Arbor Day event. Dakota City was chosen for 2018 to plant trees needed for the memorial. Eight trees are being donated by NPPD to be planted at the fire station.
“Hosting the annual Arbor Day event is a great opportunity to show NPPD’s support for the Dakota City community,” said NPPD General Manager of Retail Tim Arlt. “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.
NPPD was recently recognized by Tree Line USA for the 13th 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.