Goats that live in two local schoolyards now can climb and lounge in the shade of wooden reels donated by TEP.

TEP uses reels for storing and transporting cables and wires for stringing power lines and other projects. When TEP employees are done unspooling the wires, the empty reels are donated or resold.

Between five and 20 reels – ranging from 58 to 108 inches in diameter – become available every week, said Sene Golembiewski, Lead Material Services Coordinator. TEP makes them available for pickup by local schools and nonprofit groups.

Recently, The Gregory School and Satori School retrieved reels to use at their outdoor classrooms where they raise goats and other animals.

“We’re always happy to help out schools and nonprofit groups,” Golembiewski said. “We’re helping kids and animals, while diverting hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds out of the landfill.”

Satori plans to use 14 donated reels for its two goats and for shaded areas for children.

About 40 reels went to the Gregory School’s farm, where teachers and students built three towers for nine goats. In addition, two geese and 45 chickens reside on the school farm.

Teacher Jeff Clashman, who takes care of the Gregory School’s goats, previously obtained reels from another source that became unavailable during the pandemic. When he mentioned this as a need, parent Jon Bialis called TEP and received a response within a few hours. Parents and staff members arranged for a pickup.

“TEP was just fantastic,” said Bialis, whose sons recently completed sixth and ninth grades at Gregory. “The whole community rallies around to take care of the farmyard. It’s a really a cool ecosystem.”

In May, students, parents and teachers spent a Friday designing and fortifying the structures. The wood remains natural, as the goats tend to chew paint off. Because the wood is exposed to heat and rain, the reels usually last about six months, providing an opportunity to change the activities for the animals.

“It’s a good healthy environment for the goats and the kids. This is a huge benefit and I totally appreciate what TEP has done,” Clashman said. “If I bought spools, that would be thousands of dollars. Not only are we saving thousands of dollars, but it keeps our yard fresh and our animals totally happy.”

The reels are part of our ongoing donation of in-kind goods – both services and items – to schools and nonprofit groups. Learn more about our donations.

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