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Donated trees help single mother plant roots
By Sam Taylor on May 22, 2017
Tears welled in Reyna Guevara’s eyes as she detailed the hard work her neighbors and hundreds of volunteers put into building her new neighborhood. Each Habitat for Humanity family had invested 300 hours of “sweat equity” to build their homes. Together, they endured rain, humid weather, and mosquitoes to turn a muddy field into a livable community.
“As homeowners, we pushed to overcome in triumph,” she said. “Our new home is our reward. To accomplish what we endured, proves we can do anything.”
At a dedication ceremony of Lenwood Heights, Reyna Guevara was proud to share what it took to become the owner of Habitat’s 1,000th home. With a baby on the way, it was the perfect time for Reyna and 8-year-old daughter Raelyn to set roots.
Also setting roots in the front and back yards are about 30 native trees compliments of CPS Energy. Since 2008, we’ve donated an average of 100 trees a year to support hard-working customers who built Habitat homes. Trees add curb appeal, increase property value, and help families save energy and money. The U.S. Department of Energy says carefully positioned trees can save up to 25 percent of a home’s energy consumption for heating and cooling.
Supporting Habitat families is just one way we shade our community. Last year, we gave away more than 2,400 trees to our customers through various events. We also educate customers how to plant them safely away from power lines and to call 811 to locate utility lines before planting; it’s the law. Donating trees helps us protect the environment.
“The trees we’ve given away help clean the air, stabilize soils, and replace tree canopy lost to new construction, disease, and fire,” said Beth Lettman, environmental analyst. “Our environmental contributions from tree give-away events have helped our community be nationally recognized as a Tree City USA since 2015.”
Tree City USA is a national program that recognizes communities for their efforts to preserve, maintain, and grow tree canopy. Each year, we work with the City of San Antonio, SAWS, and non-profit organizations to meet the four standards of the environmental commitment.
We also offer customers our Green Shade Tree Rebate program. Last year, we provided almost 650 rebates to residential and commercial customers who purchased and planted qualified trees. The seasonal rebate will be available again in October.