Toledo Edison Donates, Plants Trees that Will Harvest Fruit for Local Food Banks
Over the past three years, the Sofia Quintero Art and Cultural Center in Toledo, Ohio has grown and donated more than 2,500 pounds of produce to local food banks for families in need of extra help. To help bolster the cultural center’s offerings to the community, more than a dozen employees from Toledo Edison and Tree Toledo recently teamed up to plant 22 fruit trees for the organization.
Led by Toledo Edison’s Green Team, this tree-planting event is one of several projects employee groups have completed this year to help nearby parks, nature reserves and communities across FirstEnergy’s six-state footprint. Toledo Edison contributed $600 to cover the cost of the trees, which were provided by Tree Toledo, and employees spent several hours planting them along 4,000 square feet of green space outside of the Sofia Quintero Art and Cultural Center.
Three Toledo Edison line workers used an auger truck to dig holes for each of the trees, which reduced the workload for the volunteers and allowed them to complete the work in a day. The fruit trees should fully mature within two years and harvest a variety of fruits, like pears, apples, plums, cherries and peaches.
“We work closely with the Toledo Food Bank and Immaculate Conception to supply fresh produce to local families, and the generous tree donations from Toledo Edison have allowed us to expand our existing Broadway Urban Garden Greenspace,” said Lorenzo Flores, arts and agricultural coordinator at the Sofia Quintero Art and Cultural Center.
Beyond the trees’ benefits of providing free produce to the community, this initiative is an important part of the company’s efforts to reduce FirstEnergy’s carbon footprint, promote responsible use of natural resources and further the advancement of sustainable practices.
“It is our pleasure to support Sofia Quintero because its mission is in line with FirstEnergy’s commitment to making our environment better, while strengthening our local communities and helping those in need during challenging times,” said Jamey Brooks, a project manager and Green Team member at FirstEnergy who organized the event.
The cultural center also plans to develop its green space into more of a natural setting for pollinators, like birds and bees, while growing produce for the local community. FirstEnergy is a strong supporter of creating habitats where pollinators can thrive, and the company has been recognized among the top utilities in the nation for its pollinator-friendly vegetation management practices.
“I look forward to continuing our relationship with Sofia Quintero and supporting their initiatives to benefit the environment and our local community,” said Brooks.
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