CHEYENNE, WY— Apr. 20, 2022 — Planting a tree is a great way to leave a leafy legacy and positively impact the environment and reduce energy costs, which is why this Earth Day, Black Hills Energy is giving away more than 800 free yard trees. Beginning on Friday, April 22, customers can claim a tree through our partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation’s Energy-Saving Trees Program. A free tree can be reserved by Black Hills Energy customers on a first come, first served basis at arborday.org/blackhillsenergy.
The one- to three-foot-tall dormant trees will be delivered directly to customers for spring planting from May through early June and are small enough that they can be planted by an individual. Since beginning the program in 2014, nearly 9,000 trees have been planted by Black Hills Energy customers through the partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation.
Additionally, we are partnering with the University of Wyoming to plant seven trees on campus to honor Arbor Day. This effort is funded by a $20,000 commitment by Black Hills Energy’s corporate foundation to celebrate their 20th anniversary of making legacy gifts across the eight states served by the natural gas and electric utility.
“Over the past few years, spending time outdoors in our communities has been more important than ever,” said Mark Stege, vice president of Wyoming operations. “Our eight-year partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation in the Energy-Saving Trees program offers us the opportunity to positively contribute to cleaner air, energy savings and other valuable benefits gained by planting the right tree in the right place. This year we are pleased to partner with the University of Wyoming to plant several 15-gallon trees on campus as part of our corporate Foundation’s milestone anniversary and Wyoming’s Arbor Day celebration.”
The legacy benefits of trees continue to grow, just like the trees grow over time. Trees clean our air and water, improve physical and mental health, and beautify our communities. According to the Arbor Day Foundation, one large tree can provide a day’s supply of oxygen for up to four people. In one year, a mature tree will absorb more than 48 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and release oxygen in exchange. Trees can also help save energy, as a strategically placed tree can save a homeowner up to 20% on energy costs.
“The Energy-Saving Trees program enables utility providers with an opportunity to become directly involved with their communities in meaningful ways,” said Kristen Bousquet, program manager at the Arbor Day Foundation. “Days like Earth Day and Arbor Day are the perfect opportunity to allow individuals to celebrate and secure the future of the planet. This unique program benefits utility providers, their customers and the communities they serve by finding natural ways to conserve energy.”
Black Hills Energy customers can use the handy online tool at arborday.org/blackhillsenergy to quickly determine where to plant a tree to gain the most energy-saving benefits.
Black Hills is also delivering an important 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 One Call of Wyoming’s 811. You also can schedule online at One Call of Wyoming.
We also urge customers to follow the safe digging practices listed here. Those include using white spray-paint to mark the area where you plan to dig before line locaters 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.”