(Casper, WY) — Black Hills Energy announced they are giving away more than 1,000 free trees for Earth Day. Customers can claim a tree through their partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation’s Energy-Saving Trees Initiative beginning on Thursday, April 22.
A free tree can be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis at www.arborday.org/blackhillsenergy. The 3-4-foot-tall dormant trees will be delivered directly to customers for spring planting between May and early June, and are small enough that they can be planted by an individual.
“Over the past year, spending time outdoors in our communities has been more important than ever. Our partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation in the Energy-Saving Trees 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,” said Mark Stege, Black Hills Energy’s Vice President of Operations for Wyoming. “It’s also a reminder to keep looking forward to brighter days ahead, as the tree and its many benefits take root.”
Since beginning the program in 2014, nearly 8,000 trees have been planted through the partnership, 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.
Black Hills Energy customers can use the handy online tool at www.arborday.org/blackhillsenergy to quickly determine where to plant a tree to gain the most energy-saving benefits. “Strategically planted trees block the hot summer sun and cold winter winds to help cut energy usage without sacrificing comfort,” Stege said.
Black Hills is also delivering a safety message: 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, Call Before You Dig to have underground utility lines marked. It’s free, it’s safe and it’s the law. In Wyoming, just make a free call by dialing 811 to reach Wyoming 811.
Stege also urges customers to follow the safe digging practices listed at www.blackhillsenergy.com/safety. Those include using white spray paint to mark the area where you plan to dig before line locators arrive.
“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.”