STAMFORD, Conn. -- Employees from Aquarion Water Co. grabbed shovels and got their hands dirty in a volunteer project to help prevent riverbank erosion along the Mianus River in Greenwich and Stamford.
A dozen volunteers, including nine Aquarion Water employees, spent a sunny and warm spring morning on Wednesday planting trees, bushes and plants at the Mianus River Park as part of an Earth Day initiative.
David Medd, a Greenwich-based manager of supply operations, said it's the third year that company employees have partnered with the Friends of the Mianus River Park to work on the site. The volunteer work ties in with what the company does, he said.
"This one is especially kind of important to us because Mianus River is a source of drinking water, and we have a water treatment plant just down the street" on Valley Road, he said. "Also, it is just a great project."
Joining Medd were eight other Aquarion employees: Josh Unger, Mary Romanillo, Rose Furino, Edward Reppucci, Jeff Silva, Andrew Mudahy Gary Haines, and Ronald Bombero.
Wednesday's event was one of a number of volunteer projects that the company's employees do around Earth Day, he said.
The help was welcomed by the Friends group, said its president David Roberts.
"It is almost a perfect mix," Roberts said. "It helps the park, and they are also working to help the river as well."
The work Wednesday was part of the continuing effort to prevent soil erosion into the river and also promote a bird habitat, Roberts said.
"The broad idea is that we are trying to restore the riverbank," he said. "One of the ways of doing it is moving the trails away from the edge of the water, because you get a lot of erosion into the river, and then by creating barriers with vegetation."
The second aspect is ensuring that birds have an area to stop at, Roberts said.
"It not only works with riverbank restoration, but we are also creating an oasis for the birds," he said. "What we are planting here are all native plants. And they are all bird friendly. For example, they have a lot of berries."
He praised Audubon Greenwich for its help both in expertise and financially. Much of the $10,000 that has been spent on plants and equipment over the last couple of years has come from Audubon Greenwich.
The plant selection and layout was done by Andy Chapin, an Audubon Greenwich employee,. Sam Billings, gardener at the nearby Treetops estate, was also involved.
The two men provided the expertise, while the volunteers provided the labor.
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