Cisco employees decided that they wanted to “make an impact” and not just “write a check” for the Guadalupe River Park and Gardens in downtown San Jose, an area maintained entirely by volunteers. Thirty-eight Cisco employees rolled up their sleeves to clean and provide maintenance for the Guadalupe River Park and Gardens, donating more than 800 hours in 2008.
The work consisted of pruning 2,100 rose bushes, providing mulch, weeding, and collecting trash over an approximately 1.5 mile area. Cisco volunteers also collected fruit from the numerous species of fruit trees that line the park to be donated to homeless persons. “Cisco’s generous community service program provides the manual labor that makes our sustainable practices possible,” said Leslee Hamilton, Executive Director of Friends of Guadalupe River Park and Gardens. “As a result of our labor-intensive green gardening, we’ve seen a flourishing of wildlife in the area, bettering the community where we live and work."
This three-mile park and gardens serve as a secure, peaceful area for families and visitors to relax and enjoy a picnic, jog or leisurely stroll. The space would not be as serene, safe or friendly without the efforts of volunteers such as the Cisco employees. “Being able to use community facilities such as the Guadalupe River Park and Gardens is a privilege,” said Cisco employee Rich Goldberg. Goldberg enjoys serving, particularly with his fellow employees. “Giving back to our community for the benefit of all is an obligation we gladly fulfill, and doing good work while having fun with our co-workers is an added benefit.”
The Cisco volunteers helped clean up the environment while also offering something to the community. Not only was their impact immediate, but the efforts of their labor will be enjoyed by park visitors during the upcoming weeks and months. “It felt so good to be part of something that the community of San Jose and visitors will use and enjoy on a daily basis,” said Nancy DeArmon of Cisco.