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Breathing New Life Into Our Parks

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Corey Hamilton recognized a need in the Fargo community to create more inviting green spaces by planting more trees in the city’s parks. To accomplish this, he organized a tree planting event at Fargo’s Madison Park. Choice volunteers were eager to get their hands dirty to support Corey’s mission to revitalize the park.

“People in an urban setting may not have access to outdoor resources,” Corey said. “Planting trees in parks is a way for people to learn about nature and enjoy trees and the outdoors.” Corey is part of the AmeriCorps Vista program, a year-long program where a person immerses themselves into a community and volunteers.

Choice volunteers, along with the Legacy Children’s Foundation and Fargo Park District Forestry Department, planted hazelnut, oak, and chokecherry trees. One day, these trees will provide a space where the community and children from the nearby Madison Elementary School can gather.

Choice volunteers planted hazelnut, oak, and chokecherry trees in Fargo’s Madison Park.
Choice volunteers planted hazelnut, oak, and chokecherry trees in Fargo’s Madison Park.

“It’s important for us to give back to the community in ways like this to better the places we live,” said Lisa Artz, EVP, Director of Corporate Relations. “We can’t wait until these trees are a place where students can play and learn about nature. Everyone here at Choice is thrilled to help make the Fargo community a better and greener place.”

Madison Park is currently an open expanse of lawn, but as these trees grow they’ll create gathering spaces in the shade under their limbs, encouraging connection among people and increasing the use of public green space.

“I’m hoping this will be a stepping stone for people to go to a bigger park with more trees and trails. It gets kids and people intrigued in the environment. That’s why I think it’s valuable” – Corey Hamilton

“I’m hoping this will be a stepping stone for people to go to a bigger park with more trees and trails, then to a state park or national park,” Corey said. “It gets kids and people intrigued in the environment. That’s why I think it’s valuable. That’s why I think it’s phenomenal.”

Coming together to enhance the natural environment also has positive effects on our lives by strengthening the bonds between us and our neighbors.

“It’s great because it’s a community event,” Corey said. “It’s a way for people in the community who wouldn’t have normally met to band together, get to know each other, build connections, and learn about each other.”

At Choice Bank, we’re dedicated to bettering the places we live and enhancing the quality of life of our neighbors. Throughout this experience, our team members have left an impact on the Fargo community that will last for generations.