Last month, Hollister’s Philanthropy Committee gathered a crew to volunteer at Mass Audubon’s Boston Nature Center in Mattapan. With the guidance of a couple seasoned regulars and our supervisor for the day, Mike McWade, our Hollister volunteers rolled up their sleeves and put on their gloves to tend to the site’s pollinator gardens located between the rows of the site’s solar panels. Dedicating space, water, and maintenance efforts to plants that actively combat ecological threats in lieu of grass is just one of the many ways the folks at the Boston Nature Center maximize the positive environmental impact per acre their land has.
Our volunteers spent their visit removing weeds and invasive species (including a surprising number of snails) before planting a variety of native sprouts to attract and support local pollinators, which currently struggle to sustain their populations and perform their essential function in the ecosystem. As we learned during our introduction with Mike, projects like these are vital to conservation in the short and long term, as insufficient pollination adversely impacts agriculture, limits access and affordability of food, and can result in many other cascading ecological and economic effects.
In addition to our cursory environmental science lesson, Mike provided background on some of the initiatives currently underway including expanding their solar energy production, and the Boston Nature Center’s fascinating past and inspiring present. We learned about some of the challenges protected lands like these face, but also got to hear about so much good that is being done there, from providing nature-focused early education to the children attending preschool on-site to giving volunteers like us an opportunity to lend some extra hands to support their efforts, even if just for a few hours.
As our community and our country face declining health of native plant and pollinator populations, overdevelopment of land, and other threats to the stability our environment, it is a great comfort and motivator to see and support an organization committed to maintaining safe, sustainable living conditions for bees, humans, and native milkweed alike. This latest volunteering opportunity for the committee was made possible by our Onboarding Coordinator, Athina DeAndrade, without whom many of us would not have been able to acknowledge the work Mass Audubon is and has been doing in our backyard and beyond.
If you would like to learn further, visit Mass Audubon’s website at massaudubon.org for educational resources, upcoming events, volunteer opportunities, and much more!
Hollister’s Philanthropy Committee plans and executes the company’s organized charity and volunteer work. We host 4 main volunteer opportunities a year (one per quarter). In addition, every Hollister employee is given the opportunity to volunteer for a day at an organization of their choice. More on Hollister in the Community.