Consumers Energy is offering $100,000 in grants to Michigan communities this year to plant trees, an effort to encourage responsible tree planting and sustainable urban forests in communities across the state. “We appreciate the interest from our community partners in planting trees in the right place,” said Mary Palkovich, Consumers Energy’s vice president of energy delivery. “The Community Tree Planting Program is a responsible way for us and the communities we serve to leave our state better for the next generation.” Up to $2,500 is available per community for grants. Consumers Energy sponsors the program annually to encourage responsible tree planting and sustainable urban forests in communities across the state. The Michigan Forest and Park Association reviews applications and forwards its grant recommendations to Consumers Energy. A tree planting project must meet criteria to avoid conflicts between trees and overhead lines to be eligible. Consumers Energy provides communities with a guide titled “Right Tree Right Place,” a concept developed by the National Arbor Day Foundation, which shows how to choose appropriate tree species and suitable sites in community locations near electric lines. Consumers Energy spent more than $40 million statewide on work to clear trees from power lines last year, leading to continued improvements in electric reliability. The company also joined Michigan International Speedway this year in providing 50,000 trees to be planted through the Michigan Association of Conservation Districts, and annually sponsors the Michigan Big Tree Hunt through ReLeaf Michigan. Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.6 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
The Kent Conservation District is taking orders for its spring seedling sale through March 31, 2009, for delivery on April 18 and 19, 2009. The funds generated by this sale are used by the Kent Conservation District to provide the county with a wide variety of conservation programs, along with educational and technical assistance to its landowners. The trees purchased through the sale also serve a valuable purpose. They are used in reforestation efforts and other conservation plantings throughout the county. For residential purposes trees beatify the home, raise property values and provide habitat for native wildlife. Trees also provide for many environmental benefits including soil stabilization and storm water control. This year’s sale boasts our largest selection ever, with nearly forty species of conifers (evergreens), hardwoods and wildlife shrubs. We have also added native wildflower seed mixes, backyard composters, rain barrels and much more to our catalog. We can accommodate plantings from 10 to 10,000 seedlings. We also have options to fit anyone’s budget as well with ten seedlings starting at only $10 and 1,000 seedlings starting at only $225. The catalog and order forms are available online at: www.kentconservation.org. For more information please contact the KCD office at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (616) 942-4111 ext 100.