by Anita Gambill, Publications Relations Specialist, STIHL Inc.
|PLANET Day of Service volunteers enhance school|
In celebration of Earth Day and the fourth annual Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) Day of Service, STIHL Inc. again teamed with the CIty of Virginia Beach Department of Parks and Recreation, Bartlett Tree Experts and K&D Round's Landscape Services to clean up and beautify two school properties. I attended both days and was able to witness first hand the enthusiasm for the work and the opportunity to give back to the local community. It was also rewarding to know that our local projects were part of a much larger effort across the country (international effort, actually) that included an estimated 2,600 volunteers working on 150 projects in 36 states, Canada and Puerto Rico, contributing an estimated value of $675,000.
"These projects are a partnership between STIHL, the City of Virginia Beach Department of Parks and Recreation and Virginia Beach Public Schools. The tree work and beautification project will save the city approximately $8,000," said Shawn Hopson, superintendent of grounds services for Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation.
Reclaiming an outdoor classroom
On April 20, Bartlett Tree Experts and STIHL worked with the City to reclaim a small wooded lot used as an outdoor classroom and a corridor area previously damaged by the 2011 Nor'easter.
|Hazardous trees were removed|
The wooded lot provides residents with access to both Bettie F. Williams and Newtown Elementary Schools and also serves as an outdoor learning area for both. Work included several tree removals, as well as pruning and removal of dead and damaged limbs. These operations will help ensure the health of the other trees while removing the hazardous trees from the site, providing a safer environment for the well being of those using the space. (View Facebook album.)
In addition to City employees and a crew from Bartlett Tree Experts, several STIHL employees participated, included two International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) certified arborists on staff at STIHL, Justin Espy and Casey Kralovetz.
"It's great to be able to get outdoors, away from the computer, and work with our equipment alongside other industry professionals to do something to benefit the community," said John Foster, a STIHL employee who assisted with Friday's efforts. "Cleaning up an outdoor space to be used by the schools to help get youth involved with nature is truly a day well spent."
Enhancing an elementary school landscape
|Nick McIntyre of K&D leads children's project|
Mike Camp, a STIHL employee and Virginia Beach resident who participated both days, commented, "It was an excellent day for all of the STIHL employees and their families helping out Newtown Elementary School for the PLANET Day of Service. Nothing beats sweat and hard work - great job, everyone!"
STIHL is a supporting sponsor of the national PLANET Day of Service. By participating in PLANET Day of Service, green industry professionals across the nation unite to demonstrate the industry's environmental stewardship by giving back to their local communities.
Commitment to environment is ongoing
It's not just once a year that STIHL demonstrates its commitment for the environment. Over the past several years, STIHL has made significant investments in product Research & Development to address our environmental footprint. STIHL is dedicated to developing products that minimize environmental impact and consumption of natural resources. We are proud that our product line features some of the best available technologies and some of the cleanest-running outdoor power equipment available today. You can find out more about our Caring for Nature products, including our 36-volt lithium-ion STIHL Battery KombiSystem on our website (also, check out the current rebate offer).
We also work to reduce our environmental impact in our operations and manufacturing processes. We are ISO 14001 registered and have ongoing recycling and energy conservation initiatives. In an upcoming blog, we'll share some of our environmental projects with you, including how we've already reduced our solid waste by more than 40 percent and how we are generating power at our facility to reduce our draw from the public grid.