August 7, 2019

Gas, Grass, and Gables — TCGers Kick-off Park Beautification Projects

At TCG’s Annual All-hands Meeting we reviewed the past year and our goals for the coming year. Among the initiatives planned for this year is a focus on beautifying our national, state, and local parks.

Parks face threats from pollution, climate change, and overpopulation, among other natural and man-made threats. The National Parks Conservation Association reports that air pollution harms species and habitats in 88% of our National parks. Eighty-five percent contend with unhealthy air, and nearly 90% are marred by haze pollution, reducing visibility in these scenic treasures. Researchers at the National Park Services report that rising sea levels are pushing back coastlines and changing the water quality in low-lying areas such as southern Florida and Tangier Island. Additionally, humans are developing and frequenting areas that once belonged to animals, altering their habitat.

And yet the parks in our city, county, and country remain one of the most important resources we have. The choice to put aside these lands reveals the values of our people. For these reasons and others, TCGers voted that we should do our part to improve our parks. Here are a few things we have planned that will help improve our parks and the environment:

Conceptual image of a footprint made of green grass on wood background.

We’re reducing our carbon footprint. Most TCGers primarily telecommute, so we are already doing a service for the environment. However, there are still areas where we can do better. So all 142 TCGers are working to calculate our carbon footprint and then take the necessary steps to reduce that number. Among other methods, we will do that by purchasing carbon offsets and renewable energy certificates. These investments help offset the unavoidable electricity usage and carbon emissions TCG generates by funding renewable energy projects and greenhouse gas reducing projects.

 

A placard in a small field honoring the park's namesake, Marvin Caplan.We’ve adopted a Marvin Caplan Park! Marvin Caplan Park is a modest-sized park bound by Alaska Avenue, 13th and Holly Streets, NW — just a few blocks away from TCG’s headquarters. Its namesake was a key player in the civil rights movement, best known as the founder of Neighbors, Inc. whose mission was to keep a Northwest Washington community integrated and find racial harmony. In 2018, the space was recognized as a park in the city. TCG is beginning plans to enhance and beautify the space.

 

Bee houses created by TCGers. We’ve made homes for honey bees. At the All-hands Meeting, we started the process of enhancing Marvin Caplan Park and other communities in our area. Teams of TCGers made bee houses out of sustainable and recycled materials. We had several creative ideas for the bee houses with two standouts — a psychedelic matching set and what we are calling “Headquarters and the Satellite Location.” These bee houses will be placed in Marvin Caplan Park to help bolster the honey bee population in the area. TCGers were given the opportunity to take the other bee houses to their respective communities.

 

This is just a start! Throughout the year we’ll introduce additional projects and host events to help beautify our parks. To keep up with our plans for Marvin Caplan Park and other park beautification projects, read about our B Corp certification and related activities.