Employee volunteers from West Penn Power, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., hosted tree giveaway and planting events in Jeanette and Ford City, respectively, on Earth Day, and will plant trees in Mount Pleasant Township on Arbor Day.
FirstEnergy is donating the trees for the activities, which are part of the company's ongoing efforts to reduce its carbon footprint, promote responsible use of natural resources and advance sustainable practices. Since April 2021, FirstEnergy has donated and planted more than 17,000 trees throughout its five-state service territory. The company is on track to plant more than 14,000 additional trees this spring.
West Penn Power's Green Team — a team of employees who volunteer their time and talents to support a wide variety of environmental initiatives — gave away 300 low-growing, flowering dogwood saplings to interested residents from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Earth Day, April 22, at the Jeanette Greenspaces community garden on Clay Avenue and Seventh Street. Twenty raised garden beds also were filled by the Green Team with a mix of fresh topsoil and compost. Greenspaces rents the beds for a nominal fee to city residents who live in high rises or apartments without backyards to grow fresh vegetables.
The Green Team's Earth Day activities also included the planting of 300 trees, consisting of eastern red cedar, crab apple and chokeberry varieties, at Crooked Creek Lake, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flood control impound in Armstrong County near Ford City.
On Arbor Day, April 29, Green Team volunteers will plant 200 oak and fir saplings in a protected nursery plot near the Boy Scout camping area at Mammoth Park, a 400-acre Westmoreland County park in Mount Pleasant Township. The work is labor intensive, with saplings staked and placed in tubes to protect them from deer and other wildlife. Park employees will transplant the trees after they reach a height of several feet, moving them to areas throughout the park where insects have killed pines and hemlocks.
The Green Team plans to continue to team with parks, watershed and recycling groups, garden clubs, schools and other environmentally focused organizations in 2022 to support FirstEnergy's commitment to building a brighter and more sustainable future.
For more information about FirstEnergy's commitment to environmental initiatives, click here.