Cheerful sunflowers sway in the breeze, birds chirp in the trees and members of Johns Hopkins Facilities and Real Estate (JHFRE) department are hard at work at the Blue Jay’s Perch Community Garden at Eastern.

For three Wednesdays in July, in an effort to promote social responsibility, foster teamwork and support the garden at a time when it needs it most, JHFRE staff members were basiling (the act of planting basil), weeding and mulching around the green apple tree, plucking pesky weeds, planting some beans and supporting fruit laden tomato bushes. A great deal of employee’s days are spent behind computer monitors; the garden’s fresh air provide a place to commune with nature while giving back to the community.  

The volunteer days were an effort of the department’s Employee Engagement Committee, and spearheaded by Office of Sustainability staff. The EEC coordinates activities like these, which are vital to the overall health and happiness of employees. The Office of Sustainability, which resides within JHFRE, seized the opportunity to synergize this goal where it saw a need for hands-on help right here at Hopkins, allowing employees to connect with other students, staff, and faculty as well as community members.  

As we all take actions to be stewards locally and globally, the Blue Jay’s Perch was a natural fit. It’s safe to say that all volunteers left the garden with a renewed sense of purpose and pep in their steps.  To take a line from Arnold Schwarzenegger, “I’ll be back.”

Cheers friends!

Kelly Collingsworth
Outreach Coordinator
Johns Hopkins University
Office of Sustainability