In 2011, Nestle Waters joined forces with the Student Conservation Association (SCA)--the nation's largest non-advocacy environmental organization dedicated to developing tomorrow's conservation leaders--to conduct employee conservation service project across the country. Together, SCA and Nestle Waters' employees provided vital conservation service to parks in Connecticut, Maine, Pennsylvania, Florida, California, Texas and Colorado. Overall, projects range from habitat restoration and removing invasive species to creating a “defensible zone” to protect a treasured local nature center in the event of a wildfire, and staining wood to be used in the construction of a new 100-foot boardwalk to view eagle nesting grounds. Overwhelmingly, the projects were most often based in under-served areas and parks that were in need of public support and maintenance.
Stamford Museum and Nature Center Work Day: Friday, June 10
Hours of work completed: 200 volunteer hours
Description of work completed: NWNA employee volunteers and local elected officials completed a number of vital projects at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center (SMN&C). Volunteers used shovels and pry bars to dig large holes (in very rocky soil!), and then positioned and planted ten 5" - 6" evergreen trees to create an educational evergreen grove; cleared brush and fallen branches near the Nature Center preschool and removed and transplanted ferns from the woods to create a fern garden. In addition, volunteers also raked leaves and debris on the preschool playground. This work improved the appearance and safety of the playground and the "gathering place," an outdoor area with a circle of wooden benches which is used by preschool and other educational programs. The final project was a major clean-up of the Poorhouse Brook, a watershed which runs through the SM&NC property. Volunteers removed fallen branches, dead trees, invasive vines and trash from the stream and its banks, resulting in improvement of both the natural appearance and the water flow of the stream.
Range Ponds State Park Work Day: Saturday, September 10
Hours of work completed: 52 volunteer hours
Description of work completed: NWNA employee volunteers and members of their families worked on staining a building used as a workshop and storage area by the park, which had not been repainted for over 30 years. Several volunteers also removed litter and cleared brush around a playground area. Range Ponds State Park boasts 750 acres of land frequented by visitors and locals of the Lewiston-Auburn area looking for an outdoor experience with friends and family. In addition to camping, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, paddling and boating, visitors to the park are encouraged to take advantage of the numerous hiking trails.
Wildlands Conservancy Work Day: Saturday, September 17
Hours of work completed: 28 volunteer hours
Description of work completed: NWNA employee volunteers and members of their families removed invasive species, conducted general clean up and cleared waterbars. To date, over 46,000 acres of precious open space have been preserved, numerous stream-restoration projects have been completed, new and innovative educational programs have been established, and several watershed-management plans have been completed by the Wildlands Conservancy.
Crystal Springs Preserve Work Day: Friday, October 21
Hours of work completed: 100 volunteer hours
Description of work completed: In honor of Make A Difference Day, NWNA current and retired employees, plus friends and family removed 118 cubic yards - roughly 2500 bushels of exotic brush and invasive plant species along the Hillsborough River; helping to maintain the Crystal Springs Preserve, a 525-acre sanctuary devoted to environmental education and dedicated to the preservation of Florida's natural environment.
La Quinta Cove Work Day: Saturday, October 29
Hours of work completed: 144 volunteer hours
Description of work completed: In just 4 hours, NWNA volunteers and local community members worked to remove 2.5 tons of debris from the old Cove dump site near the Boo Hoff and Cove to Lake Trails, which leads into the Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument. The National Monument is 280,000+ acres and has over 400 miles worth of hiking trails, and La Quinta Cove has one of the most widely used trail systems in the Coachella Valley. The clean-up day helped the Bureau of Land Management to ensure that the recreational use of this land does not have a negative impact on wildlife in the area.
Houston Arboretum & Nature Center Work Day: Saturday, November 5
Hours of work completed: 60 volunteer hours
Description of work completed: NWNA employee volunteers and their families worked alongside Nature Center staff and community volunteers to remove 1/5 of an acre of leaf litter and forest debris away from the building -- creating a “defensible zone” to protect the Arboretum, which due to severe drought has been left vulnerable to wildfires erupting throughout the state. The 155-acre non-profit urban nature sanctuary provides education about the natural environment to Houstonians of all ages while offering an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. The Arboretum also plays a vital role in protecting native plants and animals in the heart of the city where development threatens their survival.
Barr Lake State Park Work Day: November 12
Hours of work completed: 68 volunteer hours
Description of work completed: NWNA employee volunteers and members of their families stained 2000 square feet of wood to be used in the construction of a new 100-foot boardwalk that will allow visitors to view the eagle nesting grounds around Barr Lake State Park. Some of the younger volunteers also planted four plum bushes around the Nature Center to be used as a habitat for birds. The volunteers also had the opportunity to ride the “Eagle Express,” a golf cart tour of the park grounds that allowed the volunteers to have an insider’s peek at the park and view migrating birds along the lake. Barr Lake State Park is a local gem that offers something for every type of outdoors person - from the fishing enthusiast and boater to the naturalist, and is a short drive northeast of the Denver area.
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