Riverside starts annual free shade tree program

March 2, 2010 at 6:25 pm

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) wants city residents to cool off this summer – the natural way.

For the next four months, RPU electric customers will be able to get free shade trees at participating Riverside nurseries to plant in their yards simply by presenting a coupon from the back of their March bills.  The coupon allows a customer to take home one tree that costs $25 or less to plant on their property.  RPU customers have until June 30 to redeem the coupon. 

Four local nurseries are participating: A&M Nursery, 10333 Arlington Ave.; Louie’s Nursery, 16310 Porter Avenue; Parkview Nursery, with locations at 4377 Chicago Ave. and at 3841 Jackson St.

In addition to the free tree coupon on the back of the bill, the program provides rebates of up to $125 on purchases of up to five trees per year. 

The annual Tree Power Program dramatically cuts customers’ cooling bills during the often-blistering summer in the Inland Empire.  “This is one of our favorite programs,” said RPU General Manager David Wright.  “Shade trees really help to cool off a house or business during hot summer days.”

Now in its tenth year, the “Tree Power” promotion is responsible for planting more than 78,000 trees in the city since 2001.  Last year, customers planted more than 10,000 trees during the four-month promotion.

Because of the Tree Power Program, the Arbor Day Foundation, a national organization advocating tree planting and environmental stewardship, has awarded RPU the 2010 Tree Line USA Award in recognition of its efforts.  This is the seventh year the foundation has given the award to RPU.

For more information about the Tree Power program, check the back of March billing statements; go to RiversidePublicUtilities.com; or call 826.5485.

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