TROY, NY – More than 1,000 National Grid employees statewide attended the company day of service.
Participating employees chose a place to spend the day volunteering and giving back to the community. Locally, more than 20 employees gathered at Frear Park for a day of outdoor work in partnership with the Frear Park Conservancy.
“We have the best that National Grid has to offer here today,” Brian Sano, Conservancy president and National Grid employee, told the volunteer crowd at the start of the day.
After going through the projects on today’s to-do list, Sano asked the volunteers to divide into groups and put together the tools they would need for their work. The volunteers quickly dispersed to their work areas across the park. The day’s work was chosen to take advantage of the various skills provided by the volunteers.
“We’ve struggled to recruit volunteers with COVID, so this is a huge opportunity for us,” Sano said. “We wanted to make sure there were projects that matched everyone’s comfort level. It is important work.
The work included the upkeep and maintenance of signage and a map kiosk, the restoration of sections of trails damaged by erosion, the construction of bog bridges to ensure the safety of hikers in the most difficult parts. mudder of a trail and removing overgrowth so trails can be more easily walked. Sano visited every workplace regularly, delivering supplies and answering questions.
The National Grid Day of Service is part of the company’s “Project C”, an initiative designed to build community engagement. According to a recently published article, the goal of Project C is to:
• Connect our communities to clean and sustainable energy.
• Take care of our neighborhoods and their revitalization.
• Respond with compassion to the challenges our clients face, including environmental justice and social equity.
• Create the workforce that will help build New York’s clean energy delivery system.
• Collaborate with our customers, community partners, stakeholders and many more to deliver a clean, just, resilient and affordable energy future.
As the volunteers worked together throughout the day, another “C” became evident: camaraderie. Everyone was in a good mood as they built, dug, carved and painted. They had all chosen Frear Park as their work site from a list of possible locations, so they were happy to be there.
“I drive around here every day, how could I not help out in my own garden?” Commented Deb Melsom. “I work from home, so it’s also a good opportunity for me to go out and be around people.”
“I was delighted to see the number of people who wanted to be here today,” said Sano. “It’s not every day that a large organization asks for help.
“It’s a great opportunity for us,” said Clare Dunn. “Someone passed by while we were working on the traffic signs and thanked us for our efforts.”
“It’s great to give back to the community,” added Dave Lammon.
Melsom felt that an important part of the service day and Project C was the visibility she created.
“A lot of people think National Grid is this big, bad, bad company. We’re not – we’re like you, ”she commented. “It’s important that others see us doing this. Maybe they will be inspired to do it too. “