PGE announces $100k, 5 year grant to reach 1 million trees planted

This Saturday, April 13th, Friends of Trees volunteers will plant more than 1,000 trees and native shrubs in Tualatin with longtime partners Portland General Electric (PGE) and the City of Tualatin. PGE employees, including Maria Pope, PGE’s President and CEO, and their friends and family will be planting alongside representatives from the City of Tualatin and its Mayor Frank Bubenik, and community members.

This year, PGE announced a special gift of $100,000 that will help Friends of Trees reach the milestone of one million trees planted since its inception. PGE has supported Friends of Trees since its founding in 1989; PGE is sponsoring a total of 10 planting and tree-care events, bringing the total of PGE-sponsored plantings to more than 100 since 2005.

A press release with event details and contact information is here.

Paperless bills = less clutter, more trees

PGE Family Planting with FOT

If you’re a Portland General Electric customer, and you switch to the PGE Paperless Bill option between February 1 and March 15, 2012, you’ll reduce paper clutter, simplify your life, and help plant trees!

PGE will donate $1 in your honor to Friends of Trees.

PGE will notify you by email each month when your bill is ready to view online. Past bills are stored online, too, for easy review. It’s simple, secure, and sustainable. You can also pay your bill online!

Sign up here for Paperless Bill.

Thank you for reducing paper use and supporting Friends of Trees. And thank you, PGE, for leaving a legacy with your generous support over the years.

Above is a photo of a PGE employee’s family planting with Friends of Trees in Forest Park.

PGE video features winning Grand Floral Parade float: Right Tree, Right Place, Right On!

Grand Floral Parade 2011
Longtime Friends of Trees supporter Wayne Lei on PGE's Grand Floral Parade, "Right Tree, Right Place, Right On!" (Emma Gray)

This great video (below) produced by Portland General Electric captures the spirit of PGE’s Rose Festival float, “Right Tree, Right Place, Right On!”

Friends of Trees is honored that PGE, lead sponsor of our Plant It Portland! campaign, featured Friends of Trees and Plant It Portland! on its float for this year’s Starlight and Grand Floral parades.

You can read more about the Friends of Trees volunteers and staff and PGE volunteers and staff who helped with the Starlight Parade. You can also read about our preparations for the Rose Festival Parade.

PGE’s “Right Tree, Right Place, Right On!” float won the Grand Marshal’s Award for Whimsy. Congratulations, PGE and all the PGE and Friends of Trees volunteers who helped make the float successful.

Many fans of Garry Oak, our mascot, waved at Garry from the sidelines at the parade. Join Garry on Facebook. He’d love to be your friend!

TR

Traveling banner inspires action to clean our river

Plant It Portland! Banner on SE Hawthorne
Plant It Portland! cross-street banner on SE Hawthorne

By Brighton West

If you’ve walked, biked, or driven on SE Hawthorne this month, you’ve probably seen our Plant It Portland! banner overhead at SE 16th. It will be there a few more days before it moves to another part of Portland. The banner marks the start of the second year of our Plant It Portland! campaign, which is part of Portland’s Grey to Green Initiative. Portland General Electric is lead sponsor of the Plant It Portland! campaign.

When the City of Portland began installing the six-mile east side Big Pipe in 2007 to accommodate more stormwater during rainy fall and winter days, the City awarded 22 organizations Community Benefit Opportunity (CBO) funds to invest in stormwater reduction projects in the communities surrounding the Big Pipe construction area. Friends of Trees received $218,000 to plant more than 1,000 trees in neighborhoods where the Big Pipe was being installed.

As Friends of Trees enters the final stretch to complete our CBO plantings by December 31, 2011, we hope to engage more people than ever in planting trees this fall. Our banner over SE Hawthorne will remain in place until the end of June. Later this summer, the same banner will be moved to North Portland, where the Big Pipe terminates.

The Big Pipe will capture stormwater to reduce sanitary sewer overflows into the Willamette River. Trees help prevent these overflows by capturing rain water on their leaves and branches and giving the water a chance to evaporate rather than enter the sewer system. Trees’ roots also absorb rain water to keep it from flowing into the sewer system. Trees are an important part of the city’s stormwater infrastructure, and they work with bioswales and pipes to produce a cost-effective treatment system.

Check out the kinds of trees you can plant at your home this fall. You can be part of the solution to keep our rivers clean, and you can beautify your home and neighborhood, too.

–West is Program Director of Friends of Trees.

PGE President & CEO Jim Piro explains why PGE plants trees

Jim Piro, President & CEO of PGE, tells why PGE plants trees with Friends of TreesFriends of Trees has been honored to partner with Portland General Electric during our decades-long history in the Portland metro area.

PGE staff members were involved in the first plantings Friends of Trees organized 21 years ago, and PGE was the lead sponsor of our 1996-2001 Seed the Future campaign, which resulted in more than 157,000 new trees and shrubs in our region.

In today’s Oregonian, PGE President and CEO Jim Piro describes why PGE plants trees:

“We plant trees because it’s good for the environment. In addition, by planting the right type of tree in the right place, we can help prevent tree-related power outages, which helps to ensure safe, reliable power for our customers.”

PGE is sponsoring five plantings during Friends of Trees’ 2010-11 planting season. Four are still ahead: our January 15 planting in the Lents and Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhoods; our January 29 planting in the Arbor Lodge and Overlook neighborhoods; our Green Space Initiative planting on February 19; and our March 5 planting in the Montavilla and Mt. Tabor neighborhoods. See our calendar to learn more about these and other upcoming plantings.

PGE and Friends of Trees work hard to plant the right tree in the right place. This approach informs the tree selections we offer for each planting strip.

Learn about the good things that grow on trees, and find your tree at our online store.

–TR

Friends of Trees is grateful to The Oregonian for sponsoring our Why We Plant Trees ad series.