Mohave Electric Cooperative CEO Tyler Carlson was among many helping load trees during Operation Cool Shade pickup, Saturday, at the Justice Complex. Approximately 150 volunteers assisted with unloading trees on Friday and pickup on Saturday. CONTRIBUTED/MEC

BULLHEAD CITY–Strong winds couldn’t deter the some 150 volunteers who braved strong winds on Friday, as well as a brisk Saturday morning, to make Operation Cool Shade a success.

Mohave Electric Cooperative accepted orders for the discounted trees from Sept. 20 to Oct. 3 with orders being picked up on Saturday, Nov. 10.

“Without the support of our community, I’m not sure how we get this done,” said Steve Bouman, energy management specialist for MEC. “These people unloaded and then distributed 1,800 trees.”

Volunteers helping members save on their electric bill included: Kiwanis Club, Mohave Accelerated Schools Key and Interact clubs, Rotary Club, the River Valley Boys and Girls basketball teams, Bullhead City and MEC employees, and the Mohave High School Key and Interact clubs, ROTC, and Health Occupations Students of America.

The Mohave County Master Gardeners of Bullhead City played an integral role, providing advice on the types of trees appropriate for the area, volunteers at pickup, and conducted training at the Bullhead City Mohave County Library.

The largest energy consumer throughout a desert summer is the air conditioner, and there really isn’t a close second.

“Air conditioners can run almost continuously when the sun is beating on a house in the summer,” Bouman said. “Well placed shade trees can cut cooling costs by up to 20 percent as it reaches maturity.”

MEC sold out of all four types of trees – rosewood, Chilean mesquite, desert willow, and escarpment live oak – the morning of Oct. 3.

Of the 1,800 pre-purchased trees, only a few were unclaimed. Those trees will be donated to schools and parks.

 Aurora Raines, 7, was happy to lend a helping hand during Operation Cool Shade tree pickup at the Justice Complex on Saturday. Here, she’s carrying escarpment live oak, but rosewood, desert willow, and Chilean mesquite were also available during the pre-order dates of Sept. 20-Oct. 3. CONTRIBUTED/Zen Mocarksi

 Standing in front of the Operation Cool Shade sign are, left to right, Mayor Tom Brady, Mohave Electric Cooperative board treasurer Carlos Tejeda, MEC CEO Tyler Carlson, MEC board vice president Deborah Johnson, and board president Joe Anderson. CONTRIBUTED/Zen Mocarksi