Earth Day 2024: Volunteer Events Foster Local Connections and Sustainable Practices

About the Authors

Bailey Peterson Webster

Bailey Peterson-Webster
Senior Community Engagement Specialist

June Hohl

June Hohl
Safety and ESG Specialist

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The work we do every day at National Grid Renewables is inspired by a clear mission: We’re helping to power a sustainable future by leaving things better than we found them. Every year, our employees participate in a number of volunteer events that support the Earth Day mission of driving positive action for our planet.

In 2024, 55 employees volunteered for 135.5 hours at Earth Day volunteer events—and employees at our project sites did a variety of local environmental cleanup work. We’re proud of the effort our volunteers made—and the impact their effort had in supporting the environmental well-being of our local communities.

True Friends Camp cleanup

On April 18, our employee volunteers helped with brush cleanup at True Friends camp. This inspiring nonprofit with locations throughout Minnesota offers life-changing experiences that enhance independence and self-esteem for children and adults with disabilities.

Person holding root

To promote an eco-friendly transportation option to the event, we provided a bus from our corporate office to the site. At the camp, one group of volunteers pulled the invasive weed garlic mustard—restoring the native plants to the area. Someone even pulled out a 12-inch root, which started a friendly competition to see who could pull out the longest root!

Another group of volunteers spread woodchips across the camp and our volunteers took this as a challenge to spread as many chips as fast as they could. After several hours of hard work, Open Arms delivered a delicious and sustainable lunch for our volunteers with vegetarian options, such as hummus sandwiches and grain bowls.

During lunch, the executive director of True Friends, John, gave a presentation about the organization’s mission and initiatives, allowing us to create deeper connections with True Friends Camp. He explained that it’s the only week of vacation many camp attendees receive and the only week of respite for their caretakers. And some True Friends campers have been attending every year for 70 years!

Our bus driver, Sunshine, wished she had dressed that day for outside cleanup work so she could have lent a hand. If she is our driver for the next National Grid Renewables volunteer event, she wants to jump in and participate!

Cleaning up in our project site communities

While we were participating in these cleanup efforts near our corporate office, National Grid Renewables employees at our wind and solar sites participated in their own Earth Day work, doing highway cleanup with Adopt-a-Highway. 38 employees volunteered for two to four hours, filling 70 bags of trash. The Prairie Wolf crew filled 38 bags of trash! These projects are just some of the community support work that employees at our project sites do year-round, putting our community-focused values into action to benefit the environment and engage with the local community—and giving employees time to connect with nature and each other.

People with Happy Earth Day sign on the side of road by wind turbines

Making our volunteer efforts count

National Grid Renewables is committed to supporting the local communities we engage with. But we know that the best way to make an impact is to work through the local organizations already doing incredible work to support these communities. A core element of our volunteer program has been to establish and nurture long-term relationships with these local organizations.

For example, for our Earth Day work in the Twin Cities, we collaborated with the local Hands on Twin Cities, a nonprofit specializing in volunteer coordination. They pair us with local nonprofits for volunteer activities and assisted us in organizing the transportation, scheduling, and staffing.

Upholding our core values

At the end of the day, these events are where the rubber meets the road on National Grid Renewables’ core values. They challenge us to put those values into action—and, in turn, these experiences help to deepen our culture of environmental responsibility and community involvement in the entire business.

While we reflect on the successes of our Earth Day volunteer events, we are excited by the connections created, the impact made, and our values lived out.

As we look toward the future, we remain committed to integrating ourselves further into the communities we live and work within, demonstrating our promise to do the right thing and making new and better things happen. We’re dedicated to building a more sustainable and connected world with each volunteer event.

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