Read the story below or click here to see it in full as it was published on the Tampa Electric blog.
Published: April 15, 2013
Over nearly 114 years, Tampa Electric has put down a lot of roots in the community. At a tree planting event in Temple Terrace on April 12, it put down some more.
The day began at a quiet park in River Landing neighborhood, where Tampa Electric team members joined Temple Terrace city officials and employees with The Davey Tree Expert Company – the contractors who trim trees near Tampa Electric’s power lines for reliability – to plant oak, cypress and magnolia trees.
“It’s a great demonstration of our commitment to the community in a way that also benefits the environment,” said Jason Pressley, manager of Line Clearance. “Tampa Electric is a Tree Line USA utility and Temple Terrace is a Tree City USA, so we’re working together to promote values we share.”
After the first round of planting, the volunteers split into smaller groups and fanned out across Temple Terrace to plant more trees in homeowners’ yards. It was part of a Temple Terrace initiative to use environmental impact fees collected from developers to purchase trees and give them to homeowners who request them. This lets the city support sustainability while improving the community and saving on costs to maintain trees in medians and other public areas.
“Temple Terrace is moving toward greater sustainability – it’s something I’ve championed – and it’s been great to work with TECO on a project that supports that goal,” said Temple Terrace City Councilman Grant Rimbey.
Jason Agosto, general foreman with Davey, said even though his team has Fridays off, they were all eager to sign up to volunteer for the planting event.
“People always see us out here trimming trees; it helps for them to see us planting them too,” Agosto said.
With 22 new trees in Temple Terrace – some of which could grow canopies 80 feet in diameter – the Line Clearance team now turns its focus to its next tree planting event, April 26 at Ridgewood Park in Tampa.
“Line Clearance maintains more than 200,000 trees near electrical infrastructure each year,” said John Webster, supervisor of Right-of-Way Maintenance with Tampa Electric’s Line Clearance team. “Tree planting events are a great opportunity bring people together for a good cause, to add more trees in the right places and, overall, to really give something back.”