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STV Team Digs in to Support Brooklyn Conservancy Group

Jul 12, 2023
STV staff volunteering at the Gowanus Canal

A team of STV employees, including several summer interns, recently showed off their green thumbs as part of a volunteer event in support of the Gowanus Canal Conservancy (GCC).

GCC is a Brooklyn-based nonprofit that is dedicated towards the development of a resilient, vibrant open space network centered on Brooklyn, NY’s, Gowanus Canal, a former corridor for cargo transportation that is now a superfund site under remediation. Marcos Díaz González, STV executive vice president and director of the firm’s Centers of Excellence, is chairman of GCC’s board and helped to organize the volunteer day at the conservancy’s Lowlands Nursery, which provides plants that are well-adapted to the urban conditions of Gowanus and also offers educational programs to area students and residents.

“A day like this helps provide a different perspective about the work we do as planners, architects, engineers and project managers,” González said. “We help shape the built environment, and small community-based organizations like the GCC give us a unique perspective about what the community wants and needs.”

After receiving an overview of the GCC’s mission and history from Executive Director Andrea Parker, STV’s team of more than 20 helped mix soil at the nursery, which directly overlooks the canal, while also preparing lady fern plantings – a highly adaptable fern that can tolerate both rich and dry soils making it well suited to thrive in Gowanus.

STV team mixing soil

For interns, the volunteer day provided an opportunity to learn more about what drives STV as an organization while also getting their hands dirty in the field.

“It’s all about sustainability and we’re just trying to make things better,” said Alejandro Lizcano, a graduate intern in the firm’s digital advisory group. “A day like this helps me learn more about STV’s values, especially integrity. We have to act with integrity, and this adds a lot to our mission.”

“I’ve been living in the Gowanus area my entire life and I love being able to work with our team and growing my community,” said Delila Lapidus, an intern in the firm’s environmental group. “Not only is it fun, but it’s also bettering the community and bettering the environment.”

STV team members with lady fern plantings

Our team of planners, engineers, project managers and environmental scientists who came out for the day embraced embodying STV’s purpose to “make communities better” at the micro level, while also making new, lasting connections with colleagues and other stakeholders.

“A group of our interns were really excited about reaching out to our community and I was excited to come out too,” said Madison Bredehoeft, E.I.T., an environmental engineer in STV’s environmental group. “It’s nice to hang out with peers and co-workers and give back to the community. Getting out, getting active and making new connections with organizations like the GCC is really awesome and continues to expand our network.”

“It’s a really good group of people and a team-building exercise and it’s been a lot of fun,” said Alex Minolfo, ENV SP, an engineering specialist in the environmental group. “STV does a lot of big projects, but this shows we can also reach out and make a difference on smaller projects that make communities better.”