Black Hills Corporation
Trees Forever planting hope project
What started out as a peaceful August morning in Iowa quickly turned into a day of destruction as a storm, known as a derecho, swept across the state. As the storm moved west to east, it picked up intensity reaching 140 mph winds, similar to a category four hurricane in some parts of the state. The devastating loss of trees in communities became evident as residents began dealing with the aftermath of the storm and assessing damage.
Black Hills Energy understands the importance of trees in its communities. A well-placed tree helps customers save money on energy bills and is an energy efficient solution. Partnering with Trees Forever since 1992, they have planted 82,129 trees through the Black Hills Energy service territory. “Engaging with the communities we serve, where our employees and their families, live, work and play is important to us at Black Hills Energy,” said Shirly Welte, vice president of gas operations, Iowa. “Partnering with Trees Forever to help our communities with local tree planting projects leaves a legacy impact on our communities.”
After the derecho, it was only natural that Black Hills Energy would reach out to Trees Forever to find out how to best assist communities that had a devastating tree loss. The Black Hills Energy Iowa operations team provided a $20,000 donation and Black Hills Corp. Foundation matched that amount for a total contribution of $40,000 to the Trees Forever Planting Hope project over the next two years. “We are thrilled that Black Hills Energy is providing multi-year funding for derecho recovery,” remarked Shannon Ramsay, Trees Forever executive director. “Trees Forever is committed to helping communities of all sizes with the replanting and care of trees. By replanting, we are planting hope for the future!”
Trees Forever has a long history of working with communities and rural landowners to get trees in the ground. Their staff possesses deep expertise in arboriculture (tree health), landscape architecture, environmental science and community engagement.