Each year, Rappahannock Electric Cooperative’s Vegetation Management team typically manages between 1,500 and 2,000 miles of rights-of-way. They clear hazard trees that could cause a power outage and they carefully prune back limbs that could fall onto a line.

But that’s not all they do. REC’s Vegetation Management team members also work with communities and local groups to give away and plant dozens of new trees each year. All the while, they also work to earn new certifications and skills that ensure they are performing at the highest level for REC member-owners.

For the 21st consecutive year, this dedication and commitment has earned a prestigious recognition from the National Arbor Day Foundation. REC has once again been designated as a Tree Line USA utility, which recognizes the cooperative’s commitment to best practices in protecting and enhancing forestry.

“REC is the first Tree Line USA utility in Virginia, making it the longest-earning utility,” said Lara Johnson, the urban and community forestry coordinator for the Virginia Department of Forestry. Johnson coordinates the Tree Line USA program in Virginia.

Johnson presented REC with a plaque and flag commemorating this milestone at a tree planting in Lenn Park in Culpeper County on Arbor Day. Also in attendance was Ashley Appling, Extension Agent for Culpeper, Madison and Orange counties for the Virginia Cooperative Extension.

“We don’t take this recognition from the National Arbor Day Foundation lightly,” said Cindy Musick, director of vegetation management services. “Even into our second decade as a Tree Line USA utility, being selected remains a tremendous honor – one that all of our foresters and contractors take a lot of pride in.”

—Report by Casey Hollins, Managing Director – Communications and Public Relations, Rappahannock Electric Cooperative