After a brief holiday hiatus, the SDG&E Environmental All-Stars were back in action last month with the first environmental volunteer event of the year. More than a dozen employees joined San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy for a day of planting in Gonzales Canyon, a tributary in Carmel Valley that flows into the San Dieguito River.
Our volunteers made a big impact, planting more than 25 trees and dozens of native plants in the canyon.
The San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy (SDRVC) is a nonprofit conservancy dedicated to protecting and preserving the natural resources of the San Dieguito Watershed, from Volcan Mountain near Julian to the coast near Del Mar. For more than 35 years, the organization has engaged volunteers to help conserve natural resources, educate the community and provide recreational opportunities throughout the watershed.
This volunteer project at Gonzales Canyon is part of a larger regional effort to expand natural ecosystems that can help sequester carbon and filter stormwater runoff. Eventually, the SDRVC hopes to remove invasive eucalyptus from the canyon, taking away a significant fire hazard in an open space adjacent to many family homes.
For more than a decade, our signature Environmental All-Stars employee volunteer program has provided an outlet for employees and their families to volunteer for community-based projects throughout our service territory. Despite COVID-19 pandemic, the Environmental All-Stars program has continued over the past two years with little interruption. Smaller group sizes and proper personal protective equipment, such as face coverings and physical distancing, made these outdoor volunteer opportunities a great way to see colleagues as almost half of our 4,600+ employees worked from home.
Last year, more than 600 Team SDG&E Environmental All-Star volunteers logged a combined 1,700 hours of service by volunteering across 20 different events. These employee volunteers and their families helped us deliver on our commitment to plant at least 10,000 trees annually to support biodiversity, help clean the air and conserve water throughout our region.
We anticipate increased volunteer participation at monthly service projects this year, including planned projects with San Diego Audubon Society, I Love A Clean San Diego, Habitat for Humanity and others.
To learn more about our efforts to build a more sustainable and equitable future, please visit sdge.com/sustainability.