Promoting environmental stewardship not only globally, but locally too!

Serena Sato, Marketing Director

Serrv has an eco-policy that affects all aspects of our work, and for full-time staff it includes up to 8 hours of paid time/year to volunteer with an environmental project. This is a great benefit but sometimes it is hard for us to get out of the office or warehouse to participate!

Last week I jumped on the opportunity to volunteer in a local marsh, helping to bind invasive phragmites (frag-my-tees) which would later be removed. This invasive species is a problem because it spreads quickly and pushes out native plants that are better for the local ecosystem – particularly water filtration.

Bound Phragmites

Bound Phragmites

The forecast was for thunderstorms but luckily the winds shifted and we had a cool, cloudy morning to work. We traipsed through a grassland, down a railroad track, and deep into the marsh. There was standing water and large tussocks of sedge grasses so walking was actually the hardest part. Once there, we immersed ourselves in identifying and tying stalks of phragmites.

At one point, the coordinator asked if we wanted to go and find some fringed gentian. I just looked at her blankly. This is a rare, delicate flower that grows in the marsh (well, in areas without phragmites crowding them out) and we were lucky to find some nearby!

Fringed Gentian

Fringed Gentian

I was able to share with the group of volunteers about Serrv and our mission, and how environmental action connects to our anti-poverty work. We believe those who are in poverty are the least prepared to deal with the effects of climate change and pollution, and the success of our mission is directly intertwined with sustainability.

Serena in the Cherokee Marsh

Serena in the Cherokee Marsh

Read more at serrv.org/sustainability.