April 21, 2021
In observance of National Arbor Day, Starkville Utilities and Starkville Parks & Recreation are teaming to present a series of family-friendly events focusing on the essential role that trees play in creating healthy environments, including a tree giveaway on Saturday, May 1, at the Starkville Community Market.
Other Arbor Day activities will include a clean-up and tree-planting project at J.L. King Park on Saturday, April 24 from 10 a.m. to noon; and a tree-planting activity led by Mayor Lynn Spruill at the Sportsplex on Friday, April 30 at 1 p.m.
In addition to celebrating trees, Arbor Day is an opportunity for Starkville Utilities to highlight the importance of keeping trees away from power lines and helping prevent electrical hazards and injuries through proper tree placement and maintenance.
“Our mission is to provide our customers with safe, reliable and affordable power,” said Terry Kemp, general manager of Starkville Utilities. “That means ensuring that trees and power lines can safely coexist and do not pose a threat to our customers’ safety or service reliability. These efforts are part of our Renew Principle commitment to improve performance and enhance the quality of life in our community.”
For the last five years, Starkville Utilities’ reliability performance has topped 99%, thanks in large part to an excess of a $300,000 annual investment in routine tree-trimming operations that keeps electricity flowing to customers’ homes and businesses.
When done responsibly, routine tree trimming plays a major role in preventing outages and has proven to be a cost-effective investment to improve reliability, especially during storms. Proper tree placement also helps prevent electrical hazards and power outages.
In addition to providing beauty and shade, trees help cut pollution, prevent erosion, muffle sound, produce oxygen, and provide shelter and food for wildlife, among many other benefits.
During the May 1 event at Starkville Community Market, 200 free trees will be given away from 8 to 11 a.m. Members of the Starkville Town and Country Garden Club will be on hand to provide tips for proper tree care, and Starkville Utilities employees will discuss appropriate tree placement to avoid power lines and provide energy-saving benefits.
Kids who attend the event can participate in a creative art project involving flowerpots and paint provided by Renansant Bank.
“We want to involve everyone in beautifying Starkville and helping build a sense of civic pride,” said Brandon Doherty, director of Starkville Parks and Recreation. “Arbor Day events will provide a variety of hands-on opportunities for people of all ages to get directly involved in improving our community and our natural environment.”
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.