First National helps Atmore grow
Published 4:05 am Wednesday, February 16, 2005
By By Lee Weyhrich
First National Bank of Atmore, whose motto is "Helping those we serve grow and prosper," is now helping area residents' plant trees.
In order to help replace some of the trees that were damaged by Hurricane Ivan First National is giving long-leaf pine trees away in an effort to improve land.
"Due to the devastation of Ivan and all the trees that are down this is our attempt to help the community replant trees," Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of First National Bank of Atmore Dale Hurst said. "We can't replace the thousands of trees, but this is our effort to help replace some trees."
According to Hurst the idea of giving away free trees to the homeowners of Atmore was the brainchild of Bank President Shep Marsh.
"I have always been a member of the Arbor Day foundation," Marsh said. "Part of their program is doing a corporate giveaway program."
The trees are being bought from the Arbor Day Foundation and will be given away free.
"We ordered a bunch of them and hopefully they'll be in this Thursday and we'll give them away Friday," Marsh said. "We ordered 500 and we'll give them away until there's none left."
One reason the bank decided to give away long-leaf pine trees is because it is Alabama's official state tree.
"I love pines and I think there'll be enough people out there to replace them that they'll replace some of the ones that were lost," Marsh said. "After all pines are a big part of the lifeblood of this community with the timber industry and the lumber companies."
The trees are being shipped to the bank from almost clear across the country.
"They are coming from the National Arbor Day Foundation and I think they're in Nebraska," he said.
The timing of this program could not be better for many reasons, Marsh said. The Arbor Day Program coincides with the cleanup and revitalization efforts that are being undertaken as a result of Hurricane Ivan's fury and also coincides with the nationally recognized tree planting holiday.
"I think the last week of February is Arbor Day," Marsh said.
Each person is limited to two trees, but Marsh is unsure how long the supply of trees will last.
"If we don't give them all out here Friday we'll give them away until they're gone," Marsh said. "I just hope people come here and get them, and take them home and plant them."
Marsh said helping in the areas tree planting effort is the bank's sole intent.