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Erie Insurance to plant 100 new curbside trees in downtown Erie ahead of company’s 100th anniversary

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100 Trees Project begins on Arbor Day 2022 and will continue until 2025

ERIE, Pa., April 29, 2022Erie Insurance (ERIE) today planted the first of 100 new curbside trees on its downtown Erie campus, kicking off a “100 Trees Project” that will culminate with the company’s 100th anniversary in April 2025.

The urban tree planting effort, launched on Arbor Day, will help improve the streetscape around ERIE’s 40-acre corporate campus in Erie, Pennsylvania. The first tree, a 10-foot tall Colonial Spirit Elm, was planted along East Sixth Street in front of the Thomas B. Hagen Building. Plans call for at least 100 shade trees to be planted along East Fifth and East Sixth streets, between French and Parade streets over the next three years.

“Downtown Erie is experiencing a period of tremendous growth and transformation, but many of the trees that have been removed over the years due to disease and age or to accommodate development projects have never been relocated or replanted,” said Erie Insurance Chairman Tom Hagen. “As Erie Insurance nears its 100th anniversary in 2025, we wanted to do our part to help improve Erie’s tree canopy by giving the city a gift of at least 100 new shade trees downtown.”

Rather than waiting until its anniversary in 2025, ERIE leaders hope the 100 Trees Project will generate awareness and renewed interest in urban tree planting as development projects are completed in the city over the next several years.

“It’s often said that the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, but the second-best time is now,” said Jeff Brinling, ERIE’s senior vice president for corporate services. “Trees are critically important to our environment and, especially in urban areas, make a community more livable and sustainable. We are excited to be able to add these trees and improve the streetscape around our downtown campus.”

According to the Arbor Day Foundation, trees clean our air and water, provide habitat for wildlife, connect communities and support health and well-being. In addition, trees also offer several advantages to urban areas:

While the trees on Erie Insurance’s home office campus will be planted by the company’s corporate services team and landscape architect, ERIE will also be collaborating with the Arbor Day Foundation to increase support of environmental initiatives throughout the company’s footprint. Erie Insurance operates in 12 states and the District of Columbia.

“ERIE’s field offices are great supporters of their local communities, and we look forward to creating and strengthening relationships with both the Arbor Day Foundation and local environmental organizations leading up to our centennial celebration,” said Ann Scott, ERIE’s community outreach manager.  

The 100 Trees Project also complements several investments ERIE has made recently to promote sustainability. The seven-story Thomas B. Hagen Building, dedicated in September 2021, was built to meet Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification standards from the U.S. Green Building Council and features vegetated roods as well as energy optimization, light pollution reduction and water use reduction systems.

In recent years, ERIE has also increased its philanthropic support in the areas of safety and environmental responsibility. Grants have been awarded to several environmental nonprofit organizations, including the Green Building Alliance, September 11 National Memorial Trail Alliance, Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier (LEAF), Regional Science Consortium and others.