A publication of the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives

Our Communities
Home | Our Communities | More Than a Place to Pay Bills

More Than a Place to Pay Bills

JUNE 2022

SVEC’s Scott Sorrels and Del. Chris Runion break ground at the arboretum dedication.

SVEC’s Scott Sorrels (right) and Del. Chris Runion break ground at the arboretum dedication. (Photo By: Steven Johnson)

As coordinator of vegetation management at Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative, Scott Sorrels is protective of environmental concerns throughout the co-op’s territory. But what about closer to home? What about in SVEC’s front yard?

Sorrels, cooperative staffers, guests and dignitaries gathered April 29 at SVEC’s Rockingham, Va., headquarters to dedicate an arboretum where members, civic groups and school classes can learn about electricity and the environment.

 Scott’s daughter Mika recites Joyce Kilmer’s “Trees.”

Scott’s daughter Mika recites Joyce Kilmer’s “Trees.”

“Scott thought that with the power line that exists here and the foliage, let’s combine this and make it a ‘right tree, right place’ area,” says Greg Rogers, SVEC president and CEO. “Once that idea sparked, it kept expanding to all the things we could teach people as to how the power system and the environment coexist.” Virginia Del. Chris Runion of Rockingham walked through the arboretum with his wife Jennifer and their dog, and agrees that the SVEC office is now more than a place to pay bills. “I see that educational component; that’s going to make a difference for kids that aren’t even born yet,” he says.

A highlight of the afternoon was the reading of Joyce Kilmer’s “Trees,” by 12-year-old Mika Sorrels.

Built next to SVEC’s solar array, the arboretum encompasses 3.5 acres and offers a variety of greenery and pollinator-friendly habitat. “It’s important to the core mission of the co-op of providing electricity because we can do it much more cost-effectively if we have people planting the right trees in the right places,” Rogers says.

You will also want to read:

A New Lease on Life
Who You Gonna Call? Rock Busters!