Atmos Energy Promotes “Call 811 Before You Dig” by Donating 50 Trees Planted in Downtown Paris
On Wednesday afternoon, 45 to 50 people participated in a tree planting ceremony at the Lamar County Courthouse. Due to potential storms, part of the ceremony was held in District Judge Will Beard’s Courtroom. Following comments from several organizations, the crowd moved to the parking lot north of the Courthouse for the ceremonial tree planting, complete with gold shovels.
“While this initiative is being repeated throughout Atmos Energy’s Mid-Tex Division, the “Call 811 Before You Dig” trees project in Paris is of special significance”, Moser said. “We have the opportunity to be a part of the ‘Smile! Plant a Tree!’ campaign, as part of the Great Paris Fire of 1916 Centennial recognition.”
In addition to comments by Moser, Operations VP Sherry Kelly noted the importance of community partnerships and Atmos Energy’s commitment to giving back to the communities they serve.
Texas 811 Manager Shakheana Fields talked about reducing damage to underground utilities by Calling 811, a free service to homeowners, businesses, and excavators.
Matt Grubisich, Texas Trees Foundation Executive Director, spoke about the environmental benefits of trees and praised the cooperation of every organization in Paris that had a part in this very successful project.
Local public officials who spoke included County Judge Chuck Superville, City Manager John Godwin and Main Street Director Cheri Bedford. They all talked about how the landscape of Paris will be more beautiful and the quality of life improved because of not only the contribution made by Atmos Energy, but also Texas 811, the Texas Trees Foundation, and the many local businesses and residents who donated to the “Smile! Plant a Tree” campaign. To date, 122 trees have been planted, from the site the 1916 fire began, north along Main Street, on three sides of the courthouse parking lot and many other locations in the downtown area.
Hopefully, Atmos Energy’s tree project in Paris will raise awareness of the importance of Calling 811. By calling in advance, property owners and contractors are connected to the state’s one-call center, which notifies all appropriate utilities about the excavation. Professional locators mark all underground utility lines at the digging site with flags or spray paint. The purpose is to prevent cutting underground utilities, causing possible damage to property and injuries.