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Local electric co-ops donate trees to revitalize Arbor Day


Fourth grade students from Andalusia Elementary School display the pine seedlings they received as part of the Fourth Grade Foresters program.
Fourth grade students from Kinston Elementary School display the pine seedlings they received as part of the Fourth Grade Foresters program.


Students in Covington, Coffee, Crenshaw and Geneva Counties were given young trees they can raise as part of an Arbor Day program, thanks to donations by Covington Electric Cooperative and PowerSouth.

Patty Singleton-Seay of Covington Electric Cooperative said, “This gives each fourth grader a personal interest in caring for our environment. We have a vested interest in our communities, and providing the resources necessary to get the Arbor Day message out to our schools is one way we can help.”

The goal of Fourth Grade Foresters is to help revitalize Arbor Day in America’s schools. Fourth graders at Opp Elementary School received 110 trees to take home and plant. Other participating schools included Andalusia Elementary School, Fleeta School, Pleasant Home School, Red Level School, Straughn Elementary School, Kinston School, Brantley School, Enterprise Preparatory Elementary and Samson Elementary School.

Fourth Grade Foresters was created to provide a simple and inexpensive way for local businesses to send the fourth graders home with a tree of their own to plant and care for.  Each fourth grader receives an individually packaged 12”-18” evergreen tree seedling. Each package also includes information about Alabama’s Arbor Day, planting and care instructions, and the name of program sponsors. 

“This project is made possible because community businesses like Covington Electric and PowerSouth cover the cost of each of the individually packaged trees, so that there is no cost to the students, the teachers, the school or the taxpayer,”  Debra Ersch, Cofounder of the Fourth Grade Foresters Project stated. “It’s a wonderful way to show support for the community, education and the environment.” 

The trees are packaged in workshops that employ adults with disabilities through the Free Trees and Plants project. Started in February 2004, Frees Trees and Plants obtains unsold plants from growers and nurseries that would otherwise be destroyed.

"It’s really exciting for these kids to plant their own trees, and, as the years pass, look at it and be able to say 'That is my tree, and I helped it grow,'" said Emily Smith of PowerSouth. "This is a tradition we began five years ago, and we hope to continue with all upcoming fourth-graders."

About Covington Electric Cooperative:
Covington EC’s more than 2,700 miles of line transmits electrical service to more than 22,500 meters in parts of six counties: Covington, Coffee, Crenshaw, Dale, Geneva and Escambia. Covington EC’s headquarters is located in Sanford, Ala. It has branch offices in Brantley, Enterprise and Samson.

About PowerSouth:
PowerSouth serves the wholesale energy needs of 16 electric cooperatives and four municipal electric systems in Alabama and northwest Florida, with more than a million consumers in 39 Alabama and 10 Florida counties. PowerSouth is dedicated to providing reliable energy at the lowest possible cost to its members.

For more information:
Mark Ingram, Corporate Communication Manager
PowerSouth is an EEO and AAP employer

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