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.