Consumers Energy Employees Volunteer at Ecology Farm

Employees at Consumers Energy in Jackson say they do not get a lot of opportunity to interact outside of the workplace.

Workers at the Dahlem Conservancy Center in Jackson say they need all the help they can get cleaning up their nature properties after a long winter.

Both organizations addressed those concerns when about 50 volunteers from Jackson Consumers Energy’s supply chain department cleared brush, piled compost and worked on other landscaping tasks Friday, April 26 at a Dahlem Center nature facility property off Wickwire Road in Jackson.

“It’s killing two birds with one stone,” Consumers Supply Chain Manager Pat Norkey said. “We have been thinking about ways we can get our workers out into the community and also do something that benefits other organizations and people so this really worked out.”

Volunteers had a short lunch with Dahlem Center employees before heading for the outdoors where they landscaped about 15 acres of property.

The project was put into action when Consumers employee Matt Maki contacted the United Way looking for a facility where he and his co-workers could volunteer.

“(The United Way) hooked us up with the Dahlem Center and now here we are,” Macki said. “It’s sort of a bonding experience for us all. We don’t typically see each other out of the office so this is unique and pretty special.”

Rod Malloy, the new executive director of the Dahlem Center, was on his fifth day on the job when volunteers from Consumers Energy showed up.

“This sort of volunteer activity is exactly what makes the Dahlem Center possible,” Malloy said. “It’s great to see a company of that size out here with their boots on the ground supporting the community. We appreciate it very much.”

Heidi Bartlett was among those volunteering at the Dahlem Center on Friday.

“This is just a fantastic thing to do for the community,” she said. “It’s such a nice day too, that keeps a smile on everyone’s face. The folks from the center have been so nice. We are happy to be here and help.”

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