Watch How LightStream Created a Forest in the Middle of Times Square

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

 In just five hours overnight on October 18, Times Square was transformed from a concrete jungle into a woodland paradise by LightStream, the national online lending division of SunTrust Bank. Nearly 200 live trees, shrubs and plants -- oak, maple, and purple plum trees, as well as rhododendron, mountain laurels and more – provided a magical setting for thousands of visitors to enjoy and have their photo taken and shared on a Times Square billboard. The Forest of Dreams event kicked off LightStream's effort to plant 10,000 trees in October, one for each person who participated in Times Square or who signs up at before November 1.

The Forest of Dreams will benefit wilderness areas and green spaces across the U.S., including areas decimated by wildfires and hurricanes in Houston, Miami and California.

"I expected to do a lot of things in New York today, but planting a tree certainly wasn't one of them," said Barb Berardo, a visitor from Stockton, N.J. "What a great way for a company to get people involved in its cause!"

LightStream plants a tree for every loan funded, and created the Forest of Dreams to symbolize the 1,000 acres of trees it has already planted, as well as the hundreds of thousands of dreams that these loans have helped make possible.

"LightStream has a virtually paperless loan process, so instead of using a stack of paper for each loan, we plant a tree," said Todd Nelson, business development officer for LightStream. "Our quick, paperless process is just one way that LightStream simplifies borrowing and makes it easier for our customers to focus on what really matters – their dreams and goals."

Throughout October, Americans are invited to participate in the online Forest of Dreams at Anyone who opts to submit a photo will receive an email with their picture customized as if they were at the Forest of Dreams event and featured on a Times Square billboard.

LightStream plants trees in partnership with American Forests, the nation's oldest conservation organization. LightStream contributions help support American ReLeaf, which funds tree planting projects across the country. Beginning with the Forest of Dreams, LightStream is also supporting American Forests' Community ReLeaf program, which brings critically needed trees to urban settings.

The company provides financial confidence through its loans up to $100,000 for practically any purpose – automobiles, home improvement, adoptions, and even medical procedures. The application process takes only minutes to complete, and funds can be deposited in a borrower's account as soon as the same day. LightStream is so confident in its competitive rates and the simplicity of its borrowing process that the company offers a Rate Beat program and a $100 Loan Experience Guarantee.