McMinnville Electric System recognized Arbor Day in Tennessee with a learning event at Bobby Ray Elementary.
While National Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April, many states have implemented state-recognized Arbor Days that reflect the best time for planting in their region. Tennessee Arbor Day is held the first Friday in March.
Guest speakers for the day included certified arborist Jonathan Womack and MES employees Ron Tallent, Tyler Young and Michael Jones. The guys spoke to 63 third-graders about how to be safe around power lines and underground power sources when planting.
The MES team also demonstrated the ever-popular Power Town, learning the proper way to approach electricity either after an accident, such as a fallen line or digging into underground utilities, or from not heeding danger signs near substations and other marked sources of power.
Students received a hands-on lesson. When learning how MES protects its employees from possible electrocution by providing personal protective equipment, some students were able to try on the gloves, hard hats and harnesses during the demonstration.
Concluding the presentation, MES employees provided each child an Eastern Redbud tree furnished by the Tennessee Forestry Division and Womack discussed placing the trees in the right place so as not to disturb power lines. The Eastern Redbud is a perfect tree to plant in the 10-foot zone near power lines. It will mature at 30 feet, a perfect height to prevent growth into power lines.
MES is a strong advocate of planting the right tree in the right place. Trees planted in the wrong zone and allowed to grow into the power lines can result in damage to power lines and power outages during ice storms and other storms.