#NestleCares: A National Day of Volunteering

1000 volunteers. 9 cities. 1 day.

On August 10th, SCA led 9 flagship events as part of the 100+ event #NestleCares day, a national day of volunteering uniting the company’s business operations with community events nationwide.

At simultaneous service projects in Glendale, CA; Oakland, CA; Allentown, PA; Stamford, CT; New York, NY; Florham Park, NJ; St. Louis, MO; Washington, DC, and Solon, OH, young SCA leaders came out in force to guide Nestlé employees and community volunteers in addressing environmental challenges including watershed conservation and pollinator habitat conservation.

In support of local watersheds, many projects brought volunteers to the urban waterfront. In St. Louis, over 150 volunteers gathered under the Gateway Arch to launch a cleanup of the Mississippi River. In Stamford, more than 70 volunteers came out to refurbish railings along Cove Island Park’s heavily-used waterfront trail bordering the Long Island Sound.

Volunteers refurbish a guardrail at Cove Island Park.

In New Jersey, Nestlé volunteers and SCA youth crews worked side by side to clear litter from the Passaic River in Newark and restore access to a long overgrown area of beachfront at Riverfront Park. In Oakland, volunteers worked along Sausal Creek to remove algae and invasive vines to improve the health of the stream.

On Randall’s Island in New York City, and on Kingman Island in Washington, DC, volunteers focused on restoring delicate wetland habitats, cutting back invasive plants, removing trash, and building fencing to protect biodiversity in these sensitive ecosystems.

Volunteers remove invasive plants on Kingman Island.

In New York and beyond, SCA also engaged volunteers in green infrastructure projects helping to support water management and local species conservation. On Randall’s Island, volunteers headed up to the 5-Boro Green Roof on top of the NYC Parks and Recreation Dept. Administration Building, planting 2700 seedlings to help this innovative space continue to grow and thrive.

In Los Angeles, minutes away from Nestle USA’s national headquarters in Glendale, volunteers came together at the Audubon Center at Debs Park – the first public Platinum-LEED Certified site in the nation – to combat erosion along park trails, create berms to help conserve water for native plantings, and transplant seedlings destined to help revegetate eroded slopes.

In Allentown, PA, volunteers joined a project to replant the landscape of the Trexler Nature Preserve with a new forest of native American Chestnut trees.

And at Cuyahoga Valley National Park near Solon, OH, volunteers built water bars and made other improvements that will help the park’s extensive trail system manage water effectively and stay resilient through all weather.

Volunteers work to create trails at Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Across all nine field sites, volunteers supported their local communities as well as their local ecosystems by enjoying fresh local food, drinking from reusable water bottles sponsored by Nestlé, and recycling and composting on site with the goal to make all events close to zero-waste. In NYC, local musicians also provided conservation inspiration on site – and pitched in to volunteer after their set.

Meanwhile, at additional sites nationwide, SCA brought pollinator conservation into Nestlé offices, offering employee volunteers the chance to take a few minutes out of their day to create wildflower seed balls to help restore birds, bees, butterflies, and other native pollinators. Using seeds carefully selected to match local ecosystems, SCA leaders and Nestlé volunteers made over 1500 seed balls – many of which were then put to use immediately at local park sites.

Volunteers create seed balls at Nestlé headquarters.

At Kingman Island in DC and at Cove Island Park in Stamford, volunteers gathered in celebration at the end of the day to “seed bomb” wild meadows, tossing hundreds of seed balls into areas where they will now have the opportunity to sprout and bring native habitat back to healthier watersheds, thanks to Nestlé and SCA.

“Best part of the service day? Tossing our seedballs!” said volunteer Lynn Kaufman at the Kingman Island event in DC. “Throw it and grow it! Can’t wait to return to see the positive difference we’ve made in the meadow.”

Check out our Storify of the #NestleCares events below!

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