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Faber Daeufer & Itrato employees recently got their hands dirty while volunteering with two exceptional agricultural programs. As the firm’s first in-person day of service events since the pandemic, the experiences were filled with camaraderie, new connections and long overdue reunions. Faber’s day of service initiative was started by the firm's Philanthropy Committee to provide an opportunity for members of the Faber team to actively participate together with philanthropic causes that the firm, and they personally, are passionate about. Thanks to their efforts and the commitment of the entire firm, Faber has consistently dedicated approximately 1% of its annual revenue to direct financial donations every year since its opening.
A Day on the Farm
In Massachusetts, the Waltham office team spent their day of service at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln. The working farm is located within a wildlife sanctuary and serves as headquarters for the Massachusetts Audubon Society. With a mission to “protect the nature of Massachusetts for people and for wildlife” and a commitment to sustainable farming, Drumlin Farms raises livestock and poultry, grows a variety of crops, and produces hay for its animals.
Mary Vacherweill is Faber’s Senior Applications Administrator and a member of the Philanthropy Committee. “For this day of service, we wanted to do something philanthropic away from the office. Drumlin Farm offered the perfect opportunity to give back while spending a beautiful October day outside.”
Firm members took a lengthy trek through the farm to arrive at the sweet potato fields, where they then aided in harvesting the crops. “We learned so much about sweet potatoes, and got our hands dirty while harvesting quite a few,” said Vacherweill.
Drumlin Farm has been providing visitors with these types of experiences for more than 60 years. According to the organization’s website, “Its exhibits, programs, and activities are designed to foster lifelong curiosity in the natural world and an appreciation for the ways land, people, and wildlife are bound together.”
Its parent organization, the Mass Audubon Society, dates back to the late 1800s. With a goal of protecting nature for children and animals, it uses policy and advocacy to conserve the natural landscapes of Massachusetts from the city parks to the coastline. In addition to its many community initiatives, Mass Audubon also works with corporate partners to develop resources and programs that help communities:
Vacherweill said that the firm’s experience on the farm was a “perfectly beautiful day of service for firm members and their families. We were happy to bring our employees together outside of the office to benefit the local community.”
To learn more about Drumlin Farms, visit their website by clicking here.
A Day in the Gardens
The team from the New York Faber office also spent their day of service in the fresh air. They volunteered with the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, a living museum visited by more than 800,000 people annually.
Firm leaders became aware of the Garden when several employees mentioned that they and their families were active members. “As a firm, we wanted to understand more about why our employees were so enthusiastic about it,” said firm principal Joe Faber. “We learned that the Gardens are, in part, very focused on interacting with and supporting their neighbors. They provide easily accessible educational programs in topics around gardening within an urban environment and understanding the impact of climate change.”
Dating back to 1910, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden was founded during an era when New York City was quickly evolving into a landscape of concrete. The Garden was created to preserve an area of green space within the rapidly developing city. According to the organizational website, “The Garden has come to represent the very best in urban gardening and horticultural display.” It is also a leader in sustainable practices, promoting urban greening through education, conservation, and creative partnerships.
“We spent the day working in the children’s garden, which was a lot of fun,” said Faber. “In fact, we are so enthusiastic about the Garden that we started a corporate membership, which gives us the opportunity to do some very meaningful work.”
Through the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Corporate Membership Program, companies can provide monetary and resource support to the Garden while also engaging their employees and encouraging them to interact with the Garden in different ways. It will also serve as the picturesque location for the firm’s 20th anniversary celebration later this year.
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden gives back to the community in a variety of ways. Not only does it offer a unique and valuable green space in the middle of the city, but it also promotes healthy neighborhoods through its Community Garden Alliance. With a focus on sustainable gardening practices, the initiative “facilitates skill sharing between gardens through workshops and seasonal gatherings and offers an avenue for communication and learning, where personal connections are forged, and technical horticultural assistance may be obtained.”
Other Garden community programs include the Street Tree Stewardship initiative, which educates and empowers everyday New Yorkers to properly care for their trees, and the Brooklyn Urban Gardener certificate program, which links the educational resources of the Botanic Garden to the greening efforts of Brooklyn’s communities through annual courses on urban gardening basics and community greening.
Faber said that the day of service was a success, particularly as one of the first events since the pandemic and one of the first events since significantly expanding the firm. “It was a way to further introduce our employees to one another while also strengthening our connection and spending time with colleagues outdoors.”
To learn more about the NYC Botanic Garden, visit their website by clicking here.