Consumers Energy co-workers dig the planet. That’s why we’re trading in our usual work clothes and field gear for garden gloves, shovels, pitchforks and blue Consumers Energy volunteer tees this month.
Our company’s volunteers are pitching in at about a dozen Earth Month events this April, including trash pickups, pulling invasive weeds, painting, planting and mulching. With so many events, our Earth Month celebration lasted throughout April. It’s just one way we give back to local communities and support the planet, which is part of our commitment to sustainability.
The largest Earth Month event was in Jackson, where more than 100 volunteers joined Jackson City Parks on Earth Day in an annual effort to spruce up downtown, Ella Sharp Park, Loomis Park and the Martin Luther King Equity Trail and Park.
Lorna Coury, the executive director of project management for electric and facilities projects, said her pride for Jackson motivated her to pitch in.
“We just think it’s awesome to support the city of Jackson,” she said before joining a work crew to spread mulch and collect litter near Horace Blackman Park in downtown Jackson. “It’s a great park and a great city. Why not beautify it?”
Other employees were glad to leave their home office and catch up with co-workers face-to-face.
“Part of it is coming together as a company,” said Lindsey Ewig, a senior technician with the company’s real estate acquisition team. “So many of us work remotely and can see people. Of course, it’s also about Earth Day and protecting the Earth.”
The partnership between Jackson City Parks and our company began in 2016. Jackson City Parks Assistant Parks and Recreation Director Andrew Sargeant said he and his team look forward to the event every year.
“Consumers Energy employees do the tasks our staff don’t always have the time to do,” he said. “These efforts improve the overall look of Jackson and create a sense of community pride in our public spaces.”
Sustainability manger Jessica Spagnoluo coordinates the Earth Month events for Consumers Energy, including Jackson’s annual beautification project with the parks department. She said this year’s strong volunteer turnout demonstrates a deep commitment to our communities, the planet and each other.
“It means a lot,” said Spagnuolo, who joined other members of our environmental services department to paint tables at Ella Sharp Park. “There are groups of volunteers spread out across the state this month. Some of my co-workers haven’t seen each other since the start of the pandemic, and now they’re working side by side and making a difference. That’s what being sustainable is about, and it makes me proud to work for this company, especially in my role.”
“Helping out at these Earth Month events can be a dirty job, but we are happy to do it,” she added.
Consumers Energy co-workers volunteered in communities throughout Michigan from Belle Isle to Grand Rapids, and from Coldwater Township to Wexford County.