Living Lands and Waters
HERNDON, VIRGINIA (Prairie Advocate) - Fifty employees from the Savanna and Lanark locations of Elkay Manufacturing Company participated in its first employee giving campaign. On Friday, July 20, employees met at Marquette Park in Savanna to join with individuals from the Living Lands and Waters group.
Linda Carlisle, Corporate Communications specialist from Elkay’s Oakbrook facility, said, “We chose Living Lands and Waters to help out because we make products that deliver water to homes. We have had a great turnout for our 1st year, and I am really excited.” Carlisle explained that employees get time off for doing volunteer work in the community. Employees can have either a half or whole day off with pay for contributing in a company-sponsored volunteer event.
Plant manager Craig Kniss spoke to employees before they headed out onto the river and areas along the river.
“We are the ones that have the responsibility to care for nature. Elkay Cares is a great opportunity. For me it’s clear that the younger generation is doing a great job in the ‘green’ movement. The event here today is a great symbol in the accomplishments of corporations in our world today.”
Mike Coyne- Logan and his sister Nora from the Living Lands and Waters group were on hand to coordinate the employees, and brief them in safety.
“The reality is that we have picked up millions of plastic bottles,” Coyne-Logan said proudly. “It’s pretty clean up here compared to other areas that we have been. It’s cool to see the changes happen. We are very thankful to you guys. Your company took the time to do this, and do this right. Safety is the most important aspect of a successful river clean up.”
Coyne-Logan graduated from Northern Illinois University in 2000 with degrees in history and education. Before joining the crew in July of 2007, he taught school in Rock Island. Crew members split up in twenty cities and will work 4 sites during the summer months.
Nora graduated from Northern Illinois University in 2008 with a degree in Communication. After graduation, Nora became the Membership Coordinator at the River Music Experience in Davenport, Iowa. Nora joined the Living Lands and Waters team in January of 2010.
The Living Lands and Waters group was founded by Chad Pregracke, who describes 2011 as “monumental.” Pregracke was featured on NBC Nightly News, inducted into the National Rivers Hall of Fame, and spoke at the Kennedy Center where he received a standing ovation from all four living, former U.S. Presidents: Jimmy Carter, George Bush Sr., George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton.
In 2011, the group hosted Alternative Spring Break in Memphis, TN where they removed 160,000 pounds of garbage in three weeks with 105 students from 19 colleges across the country. They coordinated the second Great Mississippi River Cleanup in seventeen cities from St. Paul to St. Louis in which they removed 133,641 pounds of trash with the help of 1,186 volunteers.
Along with cleaning up along the river, the group also harvested thousands of oak seedlings from the Beardstown, IL nursery called the “Million Trees Project.” 600 volunteers lent a hand during the tree bagging events held in Springfield and Rock Island. In the spring of 2011, the group recruited 650 volunteers to assist with planting over 8,000 oak seedlings in LeClaire and Des Moines, IA and Peoria, IL.
One would think that picking up garbage along the river would include the normal garbage type items (pop cans, water bottles, food wrappers), but the Living Lands and Waters group has seen 3,019 five gallon buckets, 63,271 tires, 1,295 propane tanks, 1,044 chairs, 51 lawn mowers, 210 televisions, 19 tractors, 47 shopping carts, 63 messages in a bottle, and many, many more items. In 2011, the crew and volunteers removed approximately 187 tons of debris with the help of over 2,713 volunteers at 54 community based cleanups in nine states.
Elkay employees were treated to a lunch that was graciously donated by Subway in Savanna. Moring Disposal offered a discount on the dumpster, and Show-A-Best donated gloves. Elkay prepared first aid kits for each boat, and water for all volunteers.
To find out more information about the Living Lands and Waters group go to www.livinglandsandwaters.org.
Copyright 2013 Prairie Advocate
Updated 304 days ago Article ID# 1695809
Living Lands and Waters