LinkedIn Stewards Give Back to the EV
By Gabriel McLarnan
Ecocenter, Palo Alto– LinkedIn is a social networking platform that allows professionals to connect with current or past colleagues, search for a job, and network with liked-minded people in your industry. With 5,700+ employees in the Bay Area, LinkedIn is one of the iconic Silicon Valley tech companies in the area. Though LinkedIn’s core competency revolves around connecting professionals from around the globe, the company doesn’t forget to give back to the local community where the epicenter of their technological savvy resides. One anecdote from right here at the Environmental Volunteers demonstrates LinkedIn’s commitment to protecting the natural area where their employees live and work.
Photo Credit: https://linkedinforgood.linkedin.com/
On a rainy afternoon in April 2016, two LinkedIn employees braved the elements in the Baylands to remove invasive black mustard plant from the area. At around 9 am, the LinkedIn employees showed up and were given a quick tour of the EcoCenter. Our volunteer coordinator, Nikki Rowe, gave an overview of the project the LinkedIn employees would be working on. Their task was to remove black mustard from the surrounding area of the EcoCenter and on the fringes of the marshy areas of the Baylands. Important to note is that the two LinkedIn employees had the choice of stay inside and participate in kit repair, a less intensive and strenuous volunteer opportunity, or remove the invasive weeds.
Choosing to remove the weeds demonstrated that the employees yearned for a hands-on natural restoration of the Baylands while getting some fresh air in their lungs. By physically pulling weeds from the ground with the purpose to preserve a natural environment, the LinkedIn employees reflected a truly stewardship-centric motivation. At the EV, we were amazed at the amount of invasive weeds the LinkedIn employees removed which was much more than expected. Development Director Donalda Watson-Walkinshaw recounted that “They seemed anxious to get outside and work. The weather didn’t dampen their spirit.” We celebrate these employees and LinkedIn for choosing a nonprofit like the EV to cultivate their culture of environmental stewardship.
The experience of removing invasive weeds from around the EcoCenter was surely a breath of fresh air unique from the workplace. Saung Li, one of the employees provided feedback saying, “I had a rewarding experience and would definitely recommend volunteering. Nothing beats helping nature out while getting some fresh air, working in beautiful scenery, and watching unique birds fly by. Got to learn about different species of animals as well and had a nice workout, a win-win!” A win-win scenario is the epitome of what we hope to accomplish here at the EV through our corporate volunteer programs. Not only do we provide long-term return to the environment in terms of cultivating a sense of stewardship, but also we aim to leave a lasting impact on the very people that make the EcoCenter flourish.