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Standing Tall

REC receives Tree Line USA designation for 23rd year

July 2024

From left, Jake Bodley, Contract Forester; Jacoby Lipscomb, REC Forester; Delaney Long, Virginia Department of Forestry; and Adam Downing, Virginia Cooperative Extension. (Photo courtesy Rappahannock Electric Cooperative)

by Gregg MacDonald, Staff Writer

Every year, Rappahannock Electric Cooperative’s Vegetation Management Team and contractors play a critical role in improving the reliability of its members. They remove more than 20,000 hazard trees and clear over 1,500 miles of rights-of-way annually to prevent or reduce the likelihood of a power outage and improve reliability.

But their dedication goes way beyond trimming trees. They work with communities and local groups to give away and plant dozens of new trees. They also earn new certifications and learn new skills to ensure they perform at the highest levels for their member-owners.

In 2024, for the 23rd consecutive year, REC has been designated as a Tree Line USA utility by the National Arbor Day Foundation. “This designation demonstrates how trees and utilities can coexist for the benefit of communities and citizens,” Delaney Long with the Virginia Department of Forestry explains.

This recognition not only validates REC’s efforts but also instills confidence in the community about the cooperative’s reliability and sustainability. “At REC, our vegetation management team sets the bar for utilities across the country in terms of best practices for pruning, the use of technology, and also our commitment to continuing education — not only for our foresters and contractors, but also for the communities we serve,” adds Cindy Devlin Musick, senior director of vegetation management services. “The Tree Line USA designation is a true honor.”

REC’s reach is extensive, providing electric service to over 178,000 connections and maintaining more than 18,000 miles of power within 22 Virginia counties.