Friday, November 21, 2008

American Express Announces Atlanta, The City of Trees, to Receive $300,000 Worth of Green for Participation in Root for Our City Challenge

-(BUSINESS WIRE)--American Express announced today that it is giving the City of Atlanta $300,000 for tree-planting projects as part of the American Express Root for Our City Challenge, an initiative designed to help make eight U.S. cities cleaner, greener and more beautiful. The “City of Trees” will receive funding for tree planting programs led by Trees Atlanta, which will support the planting of 300 trees and their maintenance in residential neighborhoods and retail districts throughout the city.

Through the Root For Our City Challenge, American Express has committed $1 million toward tree planting projects for further expansion of the nation’s urban tree canopies, with Atlanta securing the largest portion of the $1 million. The additional participating cities, which included Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco and Washington DC, will each receive $100,000 for tree planting projects in those cities that will be spearheaded by local environmentally-focused organizations.

“Trees play an important role in our local communities, from cutting carbon emissions and spurring economic development to making an area look beautiful,” said Kathy King, vice president of marketplace development, American Express Merchant Services. “While we congratulate the Atlanta community for their strong participation in the Root For Our City Challenge, we thank all of the eight participating cities, merchants and the local communities for rising to the challenge and working to green their cities.”

The final Root For Our City ranking is as follows:
1. Atlanta
2. Los Angeles
3. San Francisco
4. Miami
5. Chicago
6. Washington, DC
7. New York
8. Boston
“Trees Atlanta is absolutely bursting with this amazing news!” said Marcia Bansley, Executive Director of Trees Atlanta. “This contribution will enable us to demonstrate to the community that life can truly be more rewarding with trees – cleaner air and water, cooler temperatures, lower energy costs…the list goes on.”

“This is such an honor for Atlanta,” said Mayor Shirley Franklin. “This gift from American Express will have a tremendous impact on our city and will allow us to continue to be known as the City of Trees.”

The Root for Our City Challenge is part of American Express’s commitment to community improvement and the environment. From September 22 through October 31, 2008, American Express Cardmembers were able to vote for their city through every purchase made at a participating merchant. Cardmembers were also able to visit the website to locate merchants and learn more about the benefits of trees in an urban environment.

Project plans for the eight participating cities range from replacing storm-damaged and aging trees, to the planting of hundreds of native trees that would significantly increase the tree canopy in urban areas.

For more information about the American Express Root For Our City Challenge, visit

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