This year our team participated in EarthShare’s second annual Earth Day Corporate Challenge. A handful of employees from each department donated their time the afternoon of April 14th to help the local non-profit Durham Open Space & Trails.
Durham Open Space & Trails
This year we were partnered with Durham Open Space & Trails for Earth Day. They focus on providing outdoor recreation opportunities to the Durham community. We repaired the Hope Valley Creek Bottomlands Trail, which is a 2.2 mile loop trail just off 15-501 and I-40 on the Western edge of Durham. The trail is managed by only one employee who relies on a summer intern and volunteer teams like ours to maintain and repair it.
Our group cleaned up a trail starting at Old Chapel Hill Road Park in Durham. The Hope Valley Creek Bottomlands Trail had been closed for five months due to high water moving the floating boardwalks covering swampy portions of the trail out of alignment. Our team moved the boardwalk sections back into place, and reattached the boardwalks where they had come out of their earth anchors.
For our second piece of the project, we replaced the 14 year old boards on the boardwalk. The area is a wetland and is often flooded, so the boards were soggy and easily able to be ripped up with a crowbar and sledgehammer.
The old rusted screws snapped off with very little work, and sometimes just by pulling on them with our bare hands. This reinforced for us how important getting new boards and stainless steel nails attaching them was to the safety of the boardwalk for the people walking along the trail.
We celebrated afterwards with the other companies who had helped with the EarthShare Corporate Challenge at Tyler’s Taproom in downtown Durham. Our team was awarded the prize – a bottle of soap! – for the dirtiest team after we showed off our shoes and pants caked in mud from working in the swamp all afternoon.
EarthShare NC is a collective of North Carolina based non-profit agencies focused on protecting our water, air, land and wildlife. Their Earth Day Corporate Challenge gives local companies an opportunity for a fun, free team building event. These events benefit local non-profits that care for our natural resources every day.