Make an environmental impact during National Volunteer Month

April is National Volunteer Month, and here at Aqua, we’re passionate about both our planet and the people who live on it. That’s why so many of our year-round volunteer activities involve doing our part to take care of the environment, especially when Earth Day rolls around.

To celebrate both National Volunteer Month and the annual holiday that recognizes our planet, we’ve rounded up a variety of ways for community members across all eight of our states to get involved with environmentally focused events and activities throughout April. Let’s dig in!

Illinois

Get up and break a sweat in honor of Mother Earth! The seventh annual Earth Day Race takes place on April 20 in Crystal Lake, Illinois and will lead runners on a beautiful tour through the woods—the perfect way to enjoy nature.

If you’re an Illinois teacher, you can also get your classroom involved with Earth Day in the Parks, a series of events from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources in which students can participate in “natural resources stewardship activities” such as planting trees, building brush piles, and more.

Live near the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign? Check out the school’s wide array of sustainability-focused events throughout the month of April to find one that interests you.

Indiana

Create new life this Earth Day by gardening at Chellberg Farms on the morning of April 20. If you’re located in the central part of the state, head to the Earth Day Indiana Festival at White River State Park to enjoy exhibitors, food trucks, and hands-on games and activities like hula hoops, lightsaber duels, and more. Sounds like a good time if you ask us!

New Jersey

On April 13, Clean Ocean Action will hold its 34th Annual Beach Sweeps event up and down the New Jersey coast, where participants can do their part to keep the state’s beloved beaches clean. Get a head start on shore season by browsing the list of Beach Sweeps locations to find one near you. Then, check out EarthShare New Jersey’s roundup of additional Earth Day activities across the state, from trail cleanups to live music.

North Carolina

If you’re on the hunt for an artistic way to celebrate our planet, you’ll love the Earth Day Jam from local nonprofit Happy Roots. Located in Salisbury, North Carolina, the two-day event (April 19–20) features more than 15 bands and all kinds of Earth-oriented arts and crafts. Get tickets here.

Further west in the state, Durham Parks and Rec will host an Earth Day Festival full of performances, food, and environmentally focused educational opportunities on Sunday, April 28. To volunteer at the event, head here.

Pennsylvania

Those located in central Pennsylvania have tons of opportunities to celebrate Earth Day, from the Mechanicsburg Earth Day Festival to a volunteer day at Little Buffalo State Park. Visit PA also put together a list of Earth Day-related events and places to visit in honor of the occasion, including everything from beautiful state parks to the Philadelphia Science Festival’s Naturepalooza.

(Psst: On April 6, the largest single day stream cleanup in Pennsylvania took place at the Perkiomen Creek Watershed. Members of our Aqua Pennsylvania team were there to help—were you?)

Ohio

Celebrate Earth Day with a weeklong event of volunteer opportunities throughout Central Ohio known as Earth Day Columbus. Then, reward yourself and your fellow volunteers for all your hard work at the Earth Day Columbus Celebration in Genoa Park featuring music, eco-friendly artisans, family fun, and more.

If you live in northeast Ohio, you’re in luck as well: Check out this list to browse events ranging from hikes to movies to parties at the zoo, all in celebration of our beautiful planet.

Texas

They say that everything’s bigger in Texas, which means there’s even more Earth to love—and protect! Earthx2019, described as “the world’s largest environmental experience”, takes place from April 26–28 in Dallas. “Water for all” is the event’s 2019 theme, so you can imagine that we’re extra excited here at Aqua! Between workshops, yoga, food trucks, and plenty of opportunities to get involved, there’s something for every member of the family to enjoy.

If you’re located closer to Austin, swing by Earth Day ATX on Saturday, April 13 to enjoy the annual zero-waste festival full of performances, food, and family activities.

Virginia

Virginia is for lovers… of the planet! Head to Radford’s Bisset Park to enjoy an Earth Day Festival on April 20. With activities including sunrise meditation, tree planting, river cleanups, kayaking, and more, you won’t want to miss the sunrise-to-sunset event.

There are an infinite amount of ways to honor our planet this Earth Day, and we’re proud that each of our Aqua states is jam-packed with opportunities to get involved. If there’s not an event near you, don’t worry—you can still make an impact by implementing these eco-friendly tips from the Earth Day Network into your everyday life.

Earth is the only planet we have, and it’s our job to take care of it. We hope you’ll join us during National Volunteer Month!

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Aqua employees volunteer their time during National Volunteer Month

April was National Volunteer Month, and Aqua employees all across the company took part.

Aqua recognizes the many benefits of volunteering and rolled out The Ripple Effect campaign in 2017 that helped solidify all the good the company and its employees do for each other, and in the communities it serves. Overseeing the effort is Kimberly Joyce, vice president of legislative, regulatory and external affairs, who explained that “The Ripple Effect represents Aqua’s continued commitment to reinforcing the ideals of our mission, vision and core values, now and in the future.”

Throughout the entire month of April, Aqua employees gathered together and participated in #NationalVolunteerMonth through various environmental improvement projects as well as several charitable giving opportunities. Check out their efforts!

(Above) Aqua Illinois employees cleared debris, removed buckthorn, and planted oak seedlings and perennial plants at two locations in Hawthorn Woods;  removed invasive honeysuckle, and shredded it for mulching paths at Camp Shaw-waw-nas-see in Manteno, volunteers; and participated in the Food for the Children backpack program, where they helped fill backpacks with nutritious food to benefit more than 300 children in the Danville school district.

 

 

(Above) Aqua Indiana employees took place in the annual Team Up 2 Clean Up event, organized with the focus of beautifying local parks and surrounding community properties.

 

(Above) Aqua North Carolina donated $2,500 to local food banks, and nearly 60 employees volunteered at various locations including Greensboro Urban Ministry Food Pantry (Aqua Kernersville), Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina (Aqua Cary), Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeast North Carolina (Aqua Fayetteville) and Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina (Aqua Denver).

 

(Above) Aqua New Jersey joined One Simple Wish in their efforts to spread love, hope and joy to children impacted by foster care, abuse and neglect. Volunteers helped pack “lovedby bags” for children, which are filled with arts and craft supplies, and added a personalized touch by decorating journals with drawings and inspirational words. They were also able to grant five wishes, which ranged from assisting with medical bills to groceries to new sneakers.

 

 

 

(Above) Aqua Ohio contributed $3,000 and several volunteer hours to multiple charitable organizations throughout its service territory, including Habit for Humanity, the American Red Cross, the Franklin County Food Bank and the Marion County Park District.

 

 

 

(Above) Aqua Pennsylvania participated in two clean up events at Brandywine Red Clay Alliance and the Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy. For the Perkiomen event, they also provided funding, as well as bags and gloves for the volunteers, and assisted with tire recycling afterwards.


(Above) Aqua Virginia participated in two Habitat for Humanity events at Fluvanna County Habitat for Humanity and Hanover Habitat for Humanity.

 

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A Message of Thanks to Aqua Volunteers


Caption: Kim Joyce volunteering in Panama via a partnership between Aqua America and Villanova University.

By Aqua Vice President of Regulatory, Government and External Affairs, Kim Joyce

April is National Volunteer Month. In recognition of this month, organizations, companies and individuals in cities all over the nation make an extra effort to thank volunteers, sign up new ones and contribute to causes that matter.

As someone serving on the committee to help roll out and oversee our Community Volunteerism Program, I’m proud to acknowledge our employees’ commitment to volunteerism. This dedication is what inspired us to launch the program last year.

Aqua’s volunteerism program organizes community outreach events that allow our employees to connect with one another. Plenty of Aqua employees and their families can be found serving communities across the eight states we serve.

Some examples that highlight the wide array of volunteer activities in which Aqua employees have participated and continue to participate include:

In line with our mission to supply communities with clean water, Aqua Illinois has participated in the state’s Adopt-a-River program for 15 years. As part of the program, volunteers have worked to clean up the Kankakee River, which sources one of our water treatment plants.

In North Carolina, our crews responded quickly when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) asked Aqua to supply clean drinking water to more than two dozen homes with contaminated wells. We were proud to expedite this process in order to minimize the negative impact on the Wake Forest community.

By planting more than 620 new trees in one day, volunteers from Aqua Pennsylvania connected with local conservationists and residents to bring plenty of fresh air to the Perkiomen Creek Watershed.

To help promote fire safety, something we care about deeply at Aqua, our Ohio employees help to install fire alarms and teams across our states have focused on fundraising for various local fire department. It makes us proud to support brave men and women who often volunteer to risk their lives protecting our communities.

In New Jersey, our team biked from “City to Shore” for several years to raise awareness and funds for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Our employees in Virginia took their love of water to a bass fishing tournament to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.

Hats off to Aqua Indiana employees who participated in South Haven’s Team Up to Clean Up event on Earth Day. Several Aqua employees volunteered to ready the community parks for the new season. They helped install bike racks, benches and grills at the parks, and re-installed fencing and a gate.

Finally, Aqua Texas sponsored and took part in the Wimberley Village Library summer reading program, which provides families an opportunity to discover and develop the joy of reading.

Whether as part of a company event or due to a personal dedication to a cause, every volunteer effort made by our Aqua employees is an effort that matters.

Why We Volunteer

Providing exceptional water service to our customers includes all aspects of making their communities better places to live. At Aqua, we strongly believe that volunteerism is a vital part of that commitment to each and every community.

As National Volunteer Month comes to a close, please join me in thanking our employees—and all the other volunteers in your lives—for their service both in and outside the office. Together, they create a positive impact that not only benefits our communities, but also inspires us all to continue giving back to the people we serve.

 

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