OUC’s vegetation management program has been honored with the Arbor Day Foundation’s 2023 Tree Line USA© award. A 24-year honoree, OUC is the longest-running recipient of this award in Florida.

Tree Line USA© is a national program recognizing public and private utilities for practices that protect and enhance America’s urban forests. A collaboration of the Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters, Tree Line USA© promotes dual goals of delivering safe and reliable electricity while maintaining healthy community trees.

OUC has achieved and kept its Tree Line USA status by meeting five stringent standards including quality tree care, providing annual employee training for best tree-care practices, sponsoring tree plantings and public education programs and participating in an Arbor Day celebration.

Erin Givens, OUC Vegetation Program Manager, attributed OUC’s Tree Line USA© award to “a commitment to sustainable urban forest management.” Givens added that “OUC goes to great lengths to maintain a healthy tree canopy in our service territory, and we promote tree plantings in the community by giving away tree seedlings and educating the public on the environmental benefits trees provide.”

On April 1, OUC partnered with the City of St. Cloud’s annual spring festival and sponsored a tree giveaway at Lakefront Park. In observance of Arbor Day, OUC distributed 250 tree seedlings and an educational guide on how to select, plant and care for the right tree in the right place.