TREES FOREVER, BLACK HILLS ENERGY PLANT 68,000 TREES IN IOWA COMMUNITIES DURING 20-YEAR PARTNERSHIP
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa, June 27, 2012 - Iowa-based environmental non-profit Trees Forever and natural gas service provider Black Hills Energy recently observed the 20th anniversary of a partnership that has led to the planting of more than 68,000 trees in communities throughout Iowa. Their Power of Trees program promotes the many environmental and energy-saving benefits that trees deliver. The two organizations also provide funding for tree planting projects, tree planting and care expertise, and employees who work alongside community volunteers to plant the trees.
Through the Power of Trees collaboration, Trees Forever has brought nearly 25,000 community volunteers together to plant trees since 1992, providing thousands of hours of volunteer service to help enhance and protect the environment. As Trees Forever's program partner, Black Hills Energy has awarded approximately 635 grants to plant thousands of trees in Iowa communities. In addition, enthusiastic Black Hill's employees have helped local volunteers plant many of those trees. In 20 years, the Iowa communities involved have also contributed nearly $1.9 million in additional support to the program's local tree planting projects.
"Trees beautify our communities and can create significant energy savings by shading buildings during the summer and blocking harsh winds during the winter," said Shannon Ramsay, founding president of Trees Forever.
Tracy Peterson, Black Hills Energy vice president of Iowa operations, said protecting the environment and conserving energy are both important to Black Hills. "We're gratified to recognize our 20-year partnership with Trees Forever this year," Peterson said. "As part of our anniversary celebration, Black Hills Energy and Trees Forever sponsored a poster contest for seventh graders, and awarded a $2,000 grant to each winner's school for planting trees in their community. All of the participants did a great job of expressing the many benefits of trees. We look forward to working with the students at West Monona Middle School in Onawa, Ogden Middle School in Ogden, and Beckman Catholic Junior High in Dyersville, on their tree planting projects next fall."
The award-winning posters and photos of the winners can be viewed at www.treesforever.org and www.blackhillsenergy.com/postercontest.
To participate in the Power of Trees program, community leaders and volunteers complete a simple grant application, choose planting sites, develop projects and enlist additional volunteers. Additional information about the Power of Trees program and other energy-efficiency tips and programs offered by Black Hills Energy are available at www.blackhillsenergy.com. Information about tree planting and care is available at www.treesforever.org.
Trees Forever is a nonprofit organization based in Marion, Iowa, and committed to planting trees, encouraging community involvement and stewardship, and caring for the environment. Programs focus on improving air and water quality, increasing wildlife habitat, providing substantial energy savings and beautifying our landscape. For more information visit www.treesforever.org or call 800-369-1269.
Black Hills/Iowa Gas Utility Company, LLC d/b/a Black Hills Energy
Black Hills Energy serves 151,000 natural gas customers in 130 Iowa communities and is a recipient of the U.S. EPA 2012 ENERGY STAR(r) Leadership in Housing Award. Black Hills Energy is a subsidiary of Black Hills Corp., a diversified energy company with a tradition of exemplary service and a vision to be the energy partner of choice. Black Hills Corp. is based in Rapid City, S.D., with corporate offices in Denver and Papillion, Neb. Black Hills Corp. serves 765,000 natural gas and electric utility customers in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming, and its non-regulated businesses generate wholesale electricity and produce natural gas, oil and coal. Black Hills' 2,000 employees partner to produce results that are improving life with energy. More information is available at www.blackhillscorp.com.
(Media Contacts: Trees Forever, Mark Signs, 319-325-7750, firstname.lastname@example.org; Black Hills Energy, Curt Floerchinger, 785-764-6492; Black Hills Media Line 866-243-9002)