For Release: 04/27/2018

Peoples Gas and nearly 300 elementary school students celebrate Arbor Day at tree planting on North Side

Peoples Gas raising awareness about safe digging for National Safe Digging Month

CHICAGO – Peoples Gas today celebrated Arbor Day, an annual observance highlighting the importance of trees, tree planting and care, by planting a tree at George Armstrong International Studies Elementary School. The energy company was joined by 811 Chicago and nearly 300 students, parents and teachers to honor the day.

April also is National Safe Digging Month, which reminds residents to always call 811 at least 48 hours in advance before planting a tree or starting any digging project. National Safe Digging Month is formally recognized by Congress and has traditionally earned support from state governors.

“Every six minutes, an underground utility line is damaged because someone decided to dig without first calling 811,” said Lori Flores Rolfson, vice president – operations and maintenance, Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas. “We strongly encourage individuals and companies to call 811 before they begin digging. It is important to share that message with students, parents and teachers because April marks the traditional start of digging season.”

In addition to planting a Dwarf Blue Spruce Conifer tree, the students, parents and teachers received a demonstration of the process used to locate and mark utilities underground. 811 Chicago provided information on why it’s important to call before you dig. Peoples Gas and 811 Chicago also distributed recyclable bags, seeds, and information about calling 811.

“This tree planting is just the beginning of a larger community garden project that will require much excavation,” said Donna Heidkamp Bedtke, Assistant Principal at George Armstrong Elementary. “We always stress the importance of safety first, so it is wonderful to partner with Peoples Gas on this Arbor Day event to raise awareness of the importance of calling 811 before any digging project.”

Peoples Gas encourages area residents to visit or for more information about digging safely.

For More Information, Contact:

  • Vanessa Hall


WEC Energy Group