McALLEN -- Happy Earth Day, Rio Grande Valley! This year, in honor of Earth Day 2011, Green Mountain Energy Company wants to further help the environment by giving away trees to Valley residents.

Green Mountain will give away 240 Live Oak trees at the Vida Verde Earth Day event, held at Quinta Mazatlan on Saturday, April 16, on a first-come, first-served basis.

"Earth Day is our favorite holiday as we can focus on our shared goal of a cleaner environment, and we are thrilled to be able to educate and give away trees to people that live in the communities we serve," said Vanessa Montelongo, South Texas market manager, , Green Mountain Energy Company. "We hope local Valley residents and customers will come out to Quinta Mazatlan to learn more about our company, pick up a tree, plant it in their neighborhoods, and continue to help us fulfill our mission ‘to change the way power is made.'

From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Vida Verde Earth Day will feature entertainment, food, eco-expos, and even a 5K Run in which the first 40 runners to cross the finish line will receive a free tree. The remaining 200 trees will be available at the Green Mountain booth so Earth Day participants are encouraged to visit the booth early before all the trees are given away! For more information about Vida Verde Earth Day, visit

Live Oak trees are native to South Texas and grow well in the areas within and surrounding McAllen. In addition, planting trees is a simple and cost-effective way to decrease carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and to beautify communities. Strategically placed, trees provide shade and can even increase home energy efficiency. A full grown Live Oak absorbs approximately 1,600 pounds of CO2 each year and contributes significantly to air quality.