One Community Bank in Oregon, Wis., sees the forest for the trees. In January, the $1.8 billion-asset community bank donated $5,000 to the Terrace Tree program, the village of Oregon’s tree planting initiative. Because of the donation, homeowners who plant trees on their own property—therefore participating in the program—will receive partial reimbursement.

“Our organizational mission is really built on three things: serving clients, supporting colleagues and investing in our communities,” said Steve Peotter, president and chief executive officer of One Community Bank.

Both clients and colleagues of the bank have encouraged and expressed admiration for the bank’s contributions to sustainability efforts. One Community Bank has a strong desire to create positive change in the world, particularly within the community it serves. The bank has collaborated with the village of Oregon in the past and recognized how their environmental goals aligned. For Peotter, that made the donation to the program feel like a perfect fit.

The positive reaction to the project proved that others felt similarly. According to Peotter, people “were thrilled to hear [about] the initiative, and they’ve been very supportive.” He was delighted by this response. 

“When we talk about ideas such as stormwater retention or some of the other geothermal projects that we support, sometimes it’s hard for our community members and colleagues to visualize what that looks like,” he explained. “But … everyone can relate to trees.” —Beatrice Ogeh