ATLANTA — Eighty Georgia’s Own Credit Union Employees turned out Wednesday to plant 80 trees along the Atlanta BeltLine’s Eastside Trail in honor of the credit union’s 80th anniversary.
As part of its anniversary celebration, Georgia’s Own, in conjunction with Trees Atlanta, endowed 80 trees. The trees make up the initial phase of the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum.
The Arboretum is a 22-linear-mile tree museum. Once complete, the trees will provide a number of environmental benefits, including storm water collection, cleaner air and shade for users of the Eastside Trail.
“One of our traits since we started 80 years ago, and who we still are today, is giving back to our communities, building as much as we can, helping where we can and doing more where we can,” David Preter, president and CEO of Georgia’s Own, told the group volunteers assembled near the Old Fourth Ward Skatepark. “That’s why we’re here today.”
The 80 Georgia’s Own volunteers combined to put in more than 240 total hours planting sumac and loblolly pines near where Freedom Parkway crosses the Trail.
“These 80 trees in 80 years will be very tall,” Greg Levine, co-executive director and chief program officer of Trees Atlanta, told volunteers. “You can come back every year for the next 40 or 50 (years) and enjoy what you’ve done.”
A group of telephone employees founded Georgia’s Own in 1934 with an initial investment of $160. Since its humble beginnings, the credit unions has grown to one of the largest in the state of Georgia and today has more than 170,000 members and more than $1.7 billion in assets.
“The Atlanta BeltLine is so important to the city of Atlanta, and it makes sense for us to give back by planting the first trees of the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum,” said Amy Eagan, vice president of marketing for Georgia’s Own. “We’re excited to give a gift the community can enjoy for the next 80 years and beyond.”