"By building on Georgia Power's existing GIS-based software system, we were able to quickly and easily incorporate this new workflow to improve the browser food program they had established with the zoo."
Large Electric Utility Supports Sustainability at the Local Zoo
Georgia Power is an investor-owned electric utility that serves more than 2.4 million customers in all but four of the state’s 159 counties. The utility is committed to sustainability and supporting environmentally-focused non-profits. Georgia Power’s stated mission in this regard is “Protecting and enhancing our communities for decades to come.” Georgia Power turned to Clearion to develop two, unique workflows that identify, track and route freshly cut vegetation from the utility's tree trimming program in order to improve the diets of “browsers” and giant pandas at Zoo Atlanta.
One of a zoo’s largest responsibilities is to provide a reliable food supply of food to meet their animals’ dietary requirements. The zoo’s browsers (e.g., elephants, zebras, giraffes) have special needs. Zoo Atlanta and Georgia Power created an innovative program to deliver woody stems and branches from vegetation management operations to help feed the animals.
“Zoo Atlanta is fortunate because our climate allows for the growth of a wide variety of bamboo species. Our local community is very supportive and we count on bamboo donations from private individuals to help us feed our pandas.” –Dr. Sam Rivera, Zoo Atlanta
Electric & Gas
Challenge – Georgia Power wanted to reduce costs while supporting the unique needs of Zoo Atlanta.
Solution – A unique solution from Clearion matches vegetation to the diets of zoo animals.
Results – Georgia Power improved its operations while supporting sustainability and the community.
A professional arborist went ahead of trimming crews to identify tree and brush species. When suitable species were located, contractors left the fresh vegetation for the zoo to pick up. However, phone or text-based communication was error-prone and costly. Missed pick-ups led to homeowner complaints and wasted food for the animals. Despite these challenges Georgia Power remained committed to the vision of supporting Zoo Atlanta and improving the lives of the animals at this beloved local institution.
For the past several years, Georgia Power has managed its vegetation line clearance program with Clearion’s ArcGIS-based commercial off-the-shelf software. The Clearion solution at Georgia Power leverages asset data and creates new GIS layers to reflect all vegetation control work across the state. This innovation allowed Georgia Power to broaden its use of GIS to include all facets of its vegetation management operations. In 2020, Clearion added a new “browser” workflow to Georgia Power’s vegetation management system . The utility can now identify vegetation to retain and tree crews can mark the site as “ready for pickup.”
Zoo personnel access site information via a web portal or mobile app. Going further, they update the disposition, and indicate if the vegetation is fully or partially picked up. The solution was even expanded to track different species of bamboo-- the staple diet for giant pandas.
In addition, Clearion built an online form where homeowners can also enter the details of their bamboo donation and attach a picture. The system pins the location of the bamboo and routes the request to the zoo where it is inspected and put on a harvesting schedule.
Clearion, a Gold Tier member of the Esri Partner Network, empowers utility & infrastructure companies with native Esri GIS solutions to fully automate their vegetation management & asset maintenance programs. Clearion developed new workflows and configured the GIS-based work management system to enable external, third-parties to interact with the utility without compromising data integrity or security and more easily connect with each other and the public.
Georgia Power more easily manages a complex workflow while reducing disposal costs and supporting a worthy cause. Getting vegetation from local sources enriches the lives and diets of zoo animals. Additionally, the process simplifies the workload for animal caretakers and horticulturists.
Vegetation from local sources not only enriches the lives and diets of Zoo animals, but it simplifies the workload for animal caretakers and Zoo horticulturists as well.
Efficient tree crew routing ensures the timely pickup of fresh vegetation for the animals. Geospatial technology is creating opportunities for organizations to more easily connect with each other and with the public. This capability yields the promise of better outcomes for community groups and non-profits and facilitates Georgia Power’s quest to make positive contributions to the communities they serve.
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