Volunteers Protect New York City Wetlands
On November 7th, over 40 employee volunteers from SCA’s partner MUFG Union Bank gathered on Randall’s Island to restore New York City’s freshwater wetlands as part of MUFG’s Global Volunteer Month.
Randall’s Island — a unique park and recreational space situated at the conﬂuence of the East River, Harlem River, and Long Island Sound — is home to some of New York City’s last remaining freshwater wetlands. These wetlands not only provide critical habitat for shore birds such as snowy egrets and green herons, but also help to filter runoff and improve water quality across the city. However, the wetlands on Randall’s Island have been invaded by phragmites, an invasive species that grows up to ten feet fall and chokes out other vegetation.
This weekend, volunteers from SCA and MUFG Union Bank joined the Randall’s Island Park Alliance to cut back the wall of invasive phragmites and open up the wetlands so that diverse native species can thrive. After disposing of the seed heads to ensure that the species wouldn’t regenerate, volunteers tied the reeds into long bundles to be recycled as berms to prevent erosion along waterfront trails.
Head of Investment Banking and Markets Johs Worsoe saluted volunteers on behalf of MUFG. “When I think of our core values as a company,” he said, “I think of teamwork, and hard work — whether we’re in the oﬃce or in the field. All of you are showing that MUFG spirit today.”
By the end of the project, volunteers had broken down the ten-foot wall of phragmites, and had cut and bundled 12 cubic yards of the invasive weed to be reused as berms. “We have very few staff on the island,” said Chris Girgenti of the Randall’s Island Alliance, “and several of the staff we have are seasonal. We rely on the extraordinary work of volunteers like you to maintain these important green spaces for all New Yorkers to enjoy.”
Following this event in New York City, MUFG Union Bank employees on the West Coast will join SCA this coming weekend for a service project in San Francisco. From coast to coast, MUFG is giving back — bringing out employee volunteers to make a hands-on impact in the field, and supporting SCA’s community programs year-round to allow urban teens to build green job skills and contribute to the health of their parks and communities.