400 Volunteers, 5 Cities, 1 Earth Month Project
Drones flying overhead, youth tweeting to the world, Go Pro’s readied for action. Doesn’t sound like something you would see during an outdoor service project, does it? At Exelon’s first ever National Volunteer week, that was exactly what we saw. During the month of April, SCA & Exelon teamed up to restore green spaces across the nation in Baltimore, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Houston. From Baltimore, where we tackled debris polluting the waterway all the way down to the Gulf Coast in Houston, where we defeated invasives and planted trees as part of Harvey restoration work. Thanks to Exelon, SCA mobilized more than 400 volunteers in 5 cities alone!
In Baltimore, we saw first-hand how technology and conservation met up to create community green spaces. 46 volunteers planted 16 maturing trees, removed invasives from over 700 square feet, and cleared litter from more than 2,300 square feet of park land. Drones flew overhead, capturing Exelon Constellation Energy volunteers getting their hands dirty to conserve Herring Run Park.
A little further south, Exelon Pepco mobilized to restore Greenbelt Park in the greater Washington DC area. 51 volunteers removed 100 bags of trash, weighing 2,000 lbs, from a vulernable stream ecosystem, removed 10 square feet of tough-to-tackle invasives, and repaired a park structure! No small feat. Pepco volunteers were plugged in from beginning to end.
In Philadelphia, Exelon and the community gather to help restore the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge. A grand total of 200 volunteers cleared and removed debris from the Darby Creek Watershed! Exelon PICO volunteers worked side by side other participants to make the refuge a better green space for future generations to enjoy.
On Earth Day proper, Exelon ComEd volunteers, led by SCA’s Chicago Women’s Leader Crew, conserved Burnham Wildlife Corridor. 65 volunteers planted 400 native seedlings, mulched over 400 yards of walking path, and cleaned up more than 50,000 square feet of green space. News reporters arrived early to capture the day’s events, just as the sun was beginning to shine through on everyone working hard. Even the smallest of the group was out getting her hands dirty; she wanted to share her experience with the world on Twitter Live.
Exelon’s last stop for this month was in Houston at Memorial Park, where 25 volunteers removed invasives and cleared debris from over 1,000 square feet of land. There was no down time for Exelon Constellation Energy volunteers as they navigated through the thick brush. One participant of the event put it best: “A LOT got done.”
By the end of National Volunteer Week, Exelon’s volunteers were all cached out but had accomplished so much. We removed 5,000 pounds of debris and cleaned 125,000 feet of trail in honor of #SCAEarthMonth. As we reboot for next year, check out this video for a recap you’re sure to plug-in to!
Special thanks to Friends of Herring Run Park, National Parks Service, John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, Chicago Park District, and Memorial Park for their partnership with SCA and to Exelon for their continued support of SCA conservation projects across the country!