Ninety Employees Clean Up 60 Acres in 30 Degree Temperatures

By Tim Rondeau
Apr 24, 2018 3:15 PM ET

Camp Westwood is a branch of the Pawtucket YMCA tucked away off the beaten path in Coventry, RI.  The 60 acres of land is open from April to October each year for locals to camp, swim, kayak, or just enjoy the beautiful setting. And as our employees turned into the camp this Earth Day, we were greeted with a sign that read “Thank You National Grid Volunteers.” We hadn’t done anything to deserve the thanks yet, but we were about to earn it.

On April 18, more than 90 Rhode Island employees ventured out to the campgrounds for our annual Earth Day cleanup event.  Armed with rakes, leafblowers, paintbrushes, work gloves and other tools, we gathered around the Community Van in the unseasonably cold weather to get our assignments for the day.  After listening to welcome remarks from Bill Flaherty and Lori Spangler of the Community and Customer group, and some retreating to their cars and trucks to find some hats and gloves, our employees joined their team captains to get to work.

And work we did!  Over the course of the day, our volunteers:

  • Dug and installed 30 fence posts;
  • Painted 600’ of fence rail;
  • Stained a dozen picnic tables;
  • Installed 6 poles and created two rope courses for camper team building activities;
  • Picked up storm debris;
  • Painted the exterior of a cinderblock rest room building;
  • Painted the interior of camper cabins;
  • Raked and blew leaves.

Mike Norklun, executive director of the camp, expressed his deep gratitude for the quality of our work, noting that Camp Westwood is a non-profit that relies heavily on “in-kind” volunteer projects such as ours to maintain the camp.  In a note to the team, Community and Customer Manager Lori Spangler also praised the efforts, thanking everyone for their determined effort on such a cold day and most importantly “for supporting the communities in which we work and live.”

In true Earth Day tradition, we left Camp Westwood a lot greener, with dirty hands and a great sense of pride.