OROVILLE – PG&E volunteers worked side-by-side with third-graders at Helen M. Wilcox Elementary School today planting trees to replace the ones taken out by vandals last weekend.
The utility donated five maple trees in 15-gallon pots to the school after hearing that some of its trees were knocked down and uprooted by vandals. A local nursery donated two more trees.
Employees from PG&E’s vegetation management division and other departments pitched in to replant the trees at the K-3 school as the nation celebrated National Arbor Day. Oroville mayor Linda Dahlmeyer joined PG&E and the students at the event.
“The community’s response to our loss of trees has been wonderful and all the support has really lifted the kids’ spirits,” said Heather Scott, principal of Helen Wilcox Elementary School. “PG&E’s response was fantastic and we at Helen Wilcox Elementary greatly appreciate the trees and the help to plant them.”
The vandalism was felt throughout much of this small community of 13,000 residents.
A story in the Oroville Mercury-Register described what the vandals did and the resulting community support to help replace the trees. Several fairly young trees were destroyed sometime over the weekend. According to the newspaper story, the trees were mostly October Glory maples and had been donated and planted at the school three years ago in recognition of Arbor Day.
Some of the trees vandalized were donated by PG&E and by Western Environmental Consulting, the utility’s vegetation management inspection contractor, at a California Arbor Day event at the school a few years ago.
After learning about the vandalism, PG&E offered to donate trees and also provide the volunteer labor and planting material. Tree experts from WEC also assisted to ensure the trees are planted properly so they will lead healthy lives.
PG&E gives to Tree Fresno
The school in Oroville isn’t the only one to receive trees courtesy of PG&E.
Earlier today at Ann Leavenworth Elementary School in Fresno, PG&E representatives announced a $7,500 grant to Tree Fresno to help support an eight-week project to plant trees throughout the community, including schools.
PG&E’S Angela Vega, community relations representative, made the announcement at an Arbor Day press conference with Tree Fresno leadership and, administrators, teachers, parents and students from the school. Vega spoke about PG&E’s commitment to working with local partners to enhance environmental stewardship in communities served by the utility.
PG&E’s grant to Tree Fresno will help offset the costs of planting nearly 400 trees in the community and at local elementary schools within Fresno, Clovis and Sanger Unified school districts. Friday’s event marked the culmination of the eight-week project with the final planting of trees at several schools.