5 Questions with Shelley Heidinger on Why a Power Company Operates a Greenhouse
May 11, 2015
We had a chance to sit down with Shelley Heidinger, Manager of the SaskPower Shand Greenhouse near Estevan, SK, to talk about how we're giving back to the environment, one seedling at a time.
Why does a power company have a greenhouse?
Good question! The Shand Greenhouse was started to grow tree and shrub seedlings to help offset the carbon dioxide produced from generating electricity by fossil fuels. The seedlings also provide habitat creation and increased biodiversity throughout Saskatchewan, and are distributed through our seedling program. What’s really great about the greenhouse is that it uses waste heat from the Shand Power Station to grow the seedlings.
What is the seedling program?
Our greenhouse produces 20-25 different types of mostly native tree and shrub seedlings. The seedling program distributes roughly 500,000 of those seedlings throughout the province each year, usually for shelterbelts, habitat creation and forest reclamation.
How does the seedling program affect the environment?
Seedlings from the SaskPower Shand Greenhouse have had a positive impact on our environment. The trees and shrubs reduce excess carbon dioxide, create habitat for wildlife, guard against soil erosion, provide protection from wind and reduce heating and cooling costs. This year, the ten millionth seedling produced at the greenhouse will be planted somewhere in Saskatchewan! These 10 million seedlings, once grown, could sequester as much as 830,000 tonnes of carbon from the air.
Who is eligible for the program and when does it start each year?
Schools, communities and individuals are eligible for the seedling program if they have 10 acres of land or more and are not using the seedlings for landscaping or personal gain, but for environmental projects such as shelterbelts, conservation or wildlife habitat projects. Seedling applications are accepted from July 1 to March 15 each year on a first-come, first-served basis. With the closure of the federal tree program, demand has increased significantly, so get your applications in early!
How can I learn more?
To learn more about our seedling program visit saskpower.com. You can find information on the types of trees we grow and where you should and shouldn’t plant them. You can also call the greenhouse and talk to one of our knowledgeable staff. Remember, planning is an important part of tree planting and you can help reduce the risk of electrical service interruption by planting the right tree in the right place!
"The seedling program distributes roughly 500,000 of those seedlings throughout the province each year."
"These 10 million seedlings, once grown, could sequester as much as 830,000 tonnes of carbon from the air."
"Seedling applications are accepted from July 1 to March 15 each year on a first-come, first-served basis."