While Boulder-based E Sourcers were collecting seeds in the Front Range foothills, our Patagonia, Arizona–based researcher Bryan Jungers was doing the same work in his small border town. In Patagonia, Bryan set up a web-enabled weather station at the Native Seeds/SEARCH farm, where stewards of the environment preserve traditional indigenous-crop seed genetics. Ongoing he provides IT, geographic information system, and database-management support to Borderlands Restoration, a small group working to collect seeds and propagate native plants to restore wildlife and pollinator habitats throughout the US and Mexico border region.
As we reported earlier this month, nearly two dozen E Sourcers spent half a day in late September wandering the countryside near Lyons, Colorado, harvesting seeds from native plants for a Boulder County Parks & Open Space revegetation project. Clad in long pants and doused in sunscreen, with collection sacks slung over one arm, we whiled away the afternoon learning about our ecosystem and giving back to our community.
Almost exactly two years ago, several Front Range communities were hit hard by flooding when heavy rains caused St. Vrain Creek to jump its banks, gathering speed and debris and forgoing its usual lazy, curvy course to make a beeline for the plains. Recovery work has been slow but steady, starting first with homes, roads, and bridges before moving on to parks and open spaces. The property where we gathered seeds from three species sits along the St. Vrain and, though peaceful on this day, it still shows scars from that day of flooding.
The next step for our seeds is sorting and drying in a local warehouse before they’re cleaned, processed, and planted next spring on other open-space properties. Maybe by this time next year, restoration efforts along the St. Vrain will be complete and the blue vervain, showy milkweed, and sorghastrum will be plentiful again. One thing you can be sure of: E Source will be looking for other ways to give back. Why? Because volunteerism helps support the company’s corporate sustainability goals, provides physical and mental health benefits for those who volunteer, and is just the right thing to do.
Want to see more photos from our volunteer project? Check out our Flickr album. Does your company encourage staffers to give back? Tell us about it in the comments!