Did you know that when ComEd trims trees and branches to prevent them from coming into contact with power lines, it benefits the animals at Brookfield Zoo? Through a partnership with the Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo, ComEd provides tree trimmings or “browse”—leaves, twigs, and branches from trees and shrubs—as food for many of the zoo’s animals. The browse program began in 2011 and is now in its third season.
ComEd trims approximately 9,000 miles of tree line along transmission line corridors in Northern Illinois each year, an annual investment to improve electric reliability and reduce power outages caused by tree contact with overhead wires.
ComEd recycles 100 percent of tree trimmings, including donating to the zoo up to 50 cubic yards weekly of approved plants and tree species such as sugar and silver maple, willow, grapevine, mulberry, box elder, honey locust, and alder. From late May through September, ComEd makes twice weekly deliveries of tree trimmings to the zoo.
The browse is a great source of nutrition as well as enrichment for several species, including giraffes, gorillas and other primates, grizzly bears, kangaroos, okapi, rhinoceros, camels, and tapirs. Besides being tasty, it is good for the animals’ gastrointestinal and dental health.
Sharing tree trimmings with Brookfield Zoo is a great way to
nourish the animals and help teach families and visitors about
conservation. It is also another way
ComEd provides safe, reliable electric service to customers and benefits the
community and the environment at the same time.