Sunshine and Smiles.
Friday, August 19th was a beautiful day in Portland, Oregon. The 250 volunteers from the Conservation Alliance member companies (KEEN, Columbia Sportswear, Icebreaker, Merrell, Horny Toad, REI and Egan & Associates) took full advantage of one of the summer’s nicest days. We spent our morning pulling ivy, rebuilding trails and demolishing a decommissioned foot-bridge in Forest and Sellwood Parks, as well as working in other local locations, working up a sweat and really earning our lunch.
Stephen Hatfield, Stewardship Director of The Forest Park Conservancy, announced during lunch, “The volunteers I was working with at Pittock Mansion were unbelievable…the hardest working crew I have ever spent a day with!” In just one day, “volunteers from The Conservation Alliance Backyard Collective provided about 10% of Forest Park’s annual volunteer hours!” To that we say well done team. Well done.
The Backyard Collectives (BYC) bring together member company employees and local grantees for a day of environmental action. These events allow us to get out of the office and get our hands dirty; doing good work to preserve and protect the open spaces in our own backyards. Projects include trail work, invasive species removal and other creative projects that make a difference in local communities and ecosystems.
The BYC program brings together members of the Conservation Alliance community and illustrates firsthand the benefits of conservation efforts and the larger work of The Conservation Alliance.
The Conservation Alliance partnered with The Forest Park Conservancy and Sellwood Park for the second year in a row to organize the Portland Backyard Collective. After all the hard work was complete, volunteers relaxed in the green grass of Wallace Park in Northwest Portland, enjoyed lunch from Elephant’s Deli and talked with Conservation Alliance Grantees, WaterWatch, Save Our Wild Salmon and Oregon Wild about additional ways to support environmental efforts in their backyards.
The Conservation Alliance’s mission is to engage businesses to fund and partner with organizations to protect wild places for their habitat and recreation values. It is a group of outdoor industry companies that disburses its collective annual membership dues to grassroots environmental organizations. We direct our funding to community-based campaigns to protect threatened wild habitat, preferably where outdoor enthusiasts recreate. The Alliance was founded in 1989 by industry leaders REI, Patagonia, The North Face and Kelty, who shared the goal of increasing outdoor industry support for conservation efforts. We now have more than 175 member companies, and plan to disburse $1,000,000 in 2011.
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