Local Tree Plantings Planned for Earth Day on April 22

Odd Fellows Cemetery, Sudduth Elementary will get new shade trees

“Throwing shade” will take on a whole new meaning during Earth Day this year. That’s when Starkville Utilities will team with Tennessee Valley Authority and Starkville Town and Country Garden Club to enhance community areas by planting shade trees.

Tree plantings will take place on April 22 at two locations—the entrance of the historic Odd Fellows Cemetery and on the Sudduth Elementary School playground.

“Trees are one of our most important natural resources and provide countless benefits for the community and the environment,” said Edward Kemp, Starkville Utilities general manager. “By planting trees on Earth Day, we’re demonstrating our appreciation for trees and also ensuring that they will be treasured and enjoyed by future generations.”

Two “Little Gem” magnolias will be planted at the front gates of Odd Fellows Cemetery on Highway 182 as part of historic preservation efforts, said Kathryn Davis, president of the Starkville Town and Country Garden Club.

“As one of the oldest African American cemeteries in Mississippi, the magnolias will enhance the entrance and attract others to learn about this significant historical spot in our community,” Davis said.

At Sudduth Elementary School, four mature red maple trees will be planted on the playground to provide shade and enhance outdoor experiences.

“TVA’s mission of service includes being stewards of the region’s natural resources, and celebrating Earth Day is an important part of our partnership with Starkville Utilities and other local power companies in the region,” said Carolyn Ward, TVA community relations specialist. “Tree plantings and other activities are a great way to get people outdoors and get communities involved in protecting and preserving the environment.”

Along with celebrating trees and nature, Earth Day is an opportunity for Starkville Utilities to highlight the importance of balancing the importance of trees in the community and the proper placement of them. Along with routine trimming, proper tree placement helps prevent electrical hazards and power outages.

“With spring storm season in full swing, we’re reminding customers that it is important to keep separation between vegetation andpower lines to prevent outages and keep reliability high,” Kemp said. “If you’re planting trees, make sure that the proper species and loation is chosen so when they mature, their branches won’t interfere with overhead utility lines.”

Starkville Utilities is a municipally owned and operated electric and water utility, serving more than 14,000 residences, businesses and industries in Starkville as well as the state’s largest institution of higher learning, Mississippi State University.

We are a Water and Electric Utilities Company in Starkville