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Dakota Electric volunteers plant 1,500 trees

Volunteers planted 1,500 plants at Whitetail Woods Regional Park on May 6 as part of the Minnesota Touchstone Energy Cooperatives’ GreenTouch Day. Submitted photo

Approximately 60 Dakota Electric Association members volunteered May 6 at Whitetail Woods Regional Park in Empire Township as part of the annual, statewide Touchstone Energy GreenTouch day.

The volunteers planted 1,500 native plants in the 456-acre park. The native species planted this year, and more than 1,000 trees planted other years will eventually provide a natural habitat for animals and nature lovers to enjoy.

Dakota Electric’s effort to organize volunteers at the park is part of a larger statewide program started by electric cooperatives in 2000. Since its inception, the GreenTouch event has attracted 9,350 volunteers statewide who have completed more than 33,437 volunteer hours benefitting Minnesota parks.

This was the sixth year Dakota Electric worked in a Dakota County park, and the 16th year overall that Dakota Electric has been organizing its members to volunteer at local parks.

“We had beautiful weather and an enthusiastic group of volunteers,” said Joe Miller, event organizer for Dakota Electric. “This was a great project that people from young to old could enjoy doing together.”

“We really appreciate all those who helped,” Miller added. “It is nice to see so many people giving their time to give back to their local community.”

Funding for this project was provided from the Outdoor Heritage Fund. Those interested in helping in 2018 can watch for an insert in their bills next March or April. The event is usually held the first Saturday in May.