IBM National Service Day

Julia Moore, the Georgia Conservancy’s corporate volunteer intern, saw all of her hard work culminate this month with the success of three service projects that she coordinated for IBM’s National Service Day. Moore has spent the last few months organizing projects for IBM around Atlanta as part of the Conservancy’s Corporate Volunteer Service Program.

“We saw two needs in our communities that weren’t being met,” said Bryan Schroeder, Stewardship and Outreach Director at the Georgia Conservancy. “We have partners and friends around the state with a great need for service project volunteers, and we have corporate sponsors who want to find a deeper way to connect with the Conservancy and their communities beyond just donating money. This program was developed to fulfill those needs.”

More than 130 IBM volunteers participated in the service projects. Volunteers at English Park, part of northwest Atlanta's Neighborhood Planning Unit-G, helped paint bleachers and mulch the playground. English Park was one of the communities included in a Blueprints for Successful Communities planning study the Conservancy recently completed.

Other volunteers at the East Palisades Unit at the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area helped to maintain trails and clean up trash.

“The highlight for me was when the project came to a close and I could see such an improvement over what it looked like that morning,” said Moore. “You could definitely see all of the effort that the volunteers put in and the impact it made in the community.”

There will be many more highlights to come. The response from corporations has been tremendous, and the Conservancy aims to expand the program statewide.

“This program has the potential to make the Georgia Conservancy one of the main ‘go-to’ environmental organizations for corporations with an interest in service projects and volunteerism,” said Moore. “Our ability to coordinate the entire project for a company or to simply serve as the liaison between volunteers and projects will make us a valuable resource.”

Many communities across the state will benefit from this program. However, one of the greatest rewards will go to the corporations who participate in the program.

“This is a great opportunity for corporations to have their employees connect with the programs and organizations their money is supporting,” said Schroeder. “And for us, these aren’t just service projects—it’s direct support of our policies and program work.”