Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative has been named a 2022 Tree Line Utility by the Arbor Day Foundation to recognize its dedication to proper urban forest management in its service area. This is the eighth consecutive year that the cooperative has been awarded this recognition.
Tree Line USA, a partnership between the Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters, recognizes public and private utilities for pursuing best practices that protect and cultivate America’s urban tree canopy. In addition, Tree Line USA promotes delivering safe and reliable electricity while maintaining healthy community forests.
By joining the Tree Line USA program, service providers benefit from lowering line clearance costs due to proper pruning. As a result of those properly pruned and maintained trees, members benefit from increased reliability of service because those trees will have healthy root systems that decay less, have less structural weakness and ultimately result in fewer downed lines during storms.
“Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative is pleased to receive this recognition and I am proud that we continue to achieve the Tree Line USA designation year after year,” said John C. Lee Jr., MEC president and CEO. “Healthy trees contribute to cleaner air and water, and the windbreak and shade they provide help support wildlife, conserve energy and reduce peak demands. We are fully cognizant of this cooperative’s responsibility to provide safe, reliable and affordable electricity to members, and we are also committed to our nation’s ecological future by being good environmental stewards. The care that we take of our trees and forests today translates to a better quality of life tomorrow.”
Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative achieved the Tree Line USA recognition by meeting five program standards: quality tree care, annual worker training, tree planting and public education, formal tree-based energy conservation, and sponsorship of, or participation in, Arbor Day celebration.
Ray DeJarnette, MEC arborist and manager of vegetation services, commented, “It is our mission to follow best practices in public and private utility arboriculture. We are proud to be recognized for our ongoing efforts in that endeavor.”
“Trees are essential to creating more urban green spaces in communities across the United States,” said Dan Lambe, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Service providers like Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative demonstrate how easily trees and utilities can co-exist for the benefit of communities and residents.”
—Report by Priscilla Lawson Whirley Communications Specialist, Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative
(Above Photo: From left, displaying the Tree Line USA Utility flag are Evan Stembridge, MEC senior right-of-way coordinator; Ray DeJarnette, arborist and manager of vegetation services; and Randy Whirley, right-of-way coordinator. (Photo Courtesy: Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative)