Volunteers dug in to leave a green footprint on Los Angeles during WEFTEC® this year. Approximately 75 people traveled out to a neighborhood in a formerly industrial area of downtown Los Angeles on Oct. 15 to participate in the WEFTEC 2011 service project, Walkway to Wetlands.
For the fourth annual community service project organized by the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) Students and Young Professionals Committee (SYPC), the WEF volunteers joined other volunteers from the City of Los Angeles, the Millions Trees LA initiative, and Hollywood Beautification Team to plant trees to help revitalize the industrial area, provide stormwater capture and retention, and develop a grand entrance to the South Los Angeles Wetland Project.
“The service project is our opportunity as WEF members and volunteers to give back to the communities we are involved in,” said Haley Falconer, SYPC Community Service Project chair. The project adds to the “WEF and the SYPC legacy of giving back to the WEFTEC host cities,” Falconer said.
Many WEF leaders were involved in the project, including past President Jim Clark, who helped identify the project, worked with the City of Los Angeles to coordinate the event, and volunteered onsite; past President Rebecca West, who volunteered onsite; President Matt Bond and Immediate Past President Jeanette Brown, who spoke during a ceremony in the afternoon; and President-elect Cordell Samuels, who attended the ceremony. Los Angeles leadership, including Board of Public Works Commissioner Valerie Shaw, Bureau of Sanitation Director Enrique Zaldivar, and City Engineer Gary Lee Moore, also spoke during the afternoon ceremony.
The service project sponsors include Black & Veatch (Overland Park, Kan.), Brown and Caldwell (Walnut Creek, Calif.), Carollo Engineers (Phoenix), CDM (Cambridge, Mass.), CH2M Hill (Englewood, Colo.), Environmental Dynamics International (Columbia, Mo.), Freese and Nichols (Fort Worth, Texas), Greeley and Hansen (Chicago), Hazen and Sawyer (New York), HDR Engineering (Omaha, Neb.), and Wigen Water Technologies (Chaska, Minn.). The service project donors include Advanced Engineering and Environmental Services (Grand Forks, N.D.), Bentley Systems Inc. (Exton, Pa.), Duperon Corp. (Saginaw, Mich.), Engineering America (Oakdale, Minn.), Stantec (Edmonton, Alberta), Coombs–Hopkins Co. (Carlsbad, Calif.), Vaughan Co. Inc. (Montesano, Wash.), Veolia Water (Paris), and Wigen Water Technologies (Chaska, Minn.).