Pittsfield, MA – On April 22, employees of Pittsfield-based architectural and engineering firm, EDM, volunteered at Earth Day events at two area environmental education sites: Spicebush Swamp Park (Westmoor Park) in West Hartford, Conn. and the April Hill Conservation and Education Center in South Egremont, Mass.
The crew, which in addition to architects, designers, and other team members included CEO Jeromy Richardson, traded the usual tools of their trade for shears, rakes, and other landscaping implements to make a positive difference in their communities’ environments.
At Spicebush Swamp Park, which serves as a 33-acre “outdoor classroom” for area schools and includes a trout pond, the EDM team used the paid day of service offered by the company to remove invasive trees and plants, work that paved the way for planting native species, further beautifying the area and ensuring an even more welcoming habitat for birds. These efforts were organized for the Town of West Hartford and coordinated by the United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut as part of its Year of Caring initiative.
At the April Hill Conservation and Education Center, the location of a farm where area students learn about sustainable farming and regenerative farming practices that are responsive to climate change, EDM employees readied the vegetable garden for planting and undertook other tasks, including mulching, and splitting and stacking firewood. April Hill is operated by Greenagers, which provides employment and volunteer opportunities for teens and young adults in the fields of conservation, sustainable farming, and environmental leadership.
In addition to the events at Spicebush Swamp Park and April Hill Conservation and Education Center, several EDM staff members participated in Earth Day volunteer events at locations in Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts.
Architect Monica Perez del Rio said the volunteering events reflect EDM’s deep commitment to sustainability. “We develop every project on a foundation of sustainability. That means we pay careful attention to the environmental impact of everything from the building materials we choose to the design of heating, cooling, plumbing, waste, and ventilation systems while at the same time ensuring the built environment is well-integrated into the natural landscape,” she said.