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Georgia Power Partners with Zoo Atlanta for Utility Maintenance Efforts

“Vegetation management” may not be the first thing that comes to mind when flipping the light switch or turning on the AC, but it is a vital part of keeping Georgia Power’s 2.7 million customers connected.

Georgia Power’s Forestry and Right-of Way Teams work diligently to keep the company’s utility lines clear of trees, brush and branches and much of this work results in a surplus of vegetation debris. But what to do with the debris? Georgia Power has come up with a unique, sustainable alternative through a partnership with Zoo Atlanta.

Since 2018, Georgia Power has provided portions of this routinely pruned brush to Zoo Atlanta, providing an essential food source for many of their animals, such as elephants, zebras and giraffes. An approved plant species list is provided by Zoo Atlanta’s staff to ensure the vegetation the company provides is safe for the animals to eat.

Not only does vegetation from local sources enrich the lives and diets of zoo animals, but this process also simplifies the workload for animal caretakers and zoo horticulturists. 

“Georgia Power is proud that through this partnership we can help improve the quality of life for many Zoo Atlanta animals, have a positive impact on our community and make use of trimmings and debris we’d otherwise have to dispose of,” said Georgia Power Utility Arborist, Rebecca Swan.

And there’s a method to match-up the munchables - using an online tool that geographically locates newly cut vegetation, Georgia Power arborists coordinate the pickup of trimmings twice a day, four days a week with zoo horticulturalists.

So, the next time you see Georgia Power teams trimming trees or clearing brush near power lines, it may appear to be routine maintenance, but it could be the making of a meal for our neighborhood zoo animals.