Cisco Systems Petaluma Partners with Sonoma Land Trust
By Joe Horak, Cisco Systems
Cisco Systems in Petaluma and the Sonoma Land Trust have developed an unusual program - using proceeds from the technology company's recycling program and dedicated employee volunteers to help restore a portion of the Sonoma Baylands Trail in the San Francisco Bay area.
The Sonoma Baylands project is dedicated to re-creating wetlands and tidal marsh in an endangered area of San Pablo Bay south of Petaluma. The 313-acre site will ultimately be expanded to encompass both the restoration of historic tidal wetlands and the implementation of public access to the site.
Proceeds will be invested to provide partial funding for installation of a levee-top trail, benches, and interpretive signs in this vital part of San Pablo Bay, in the northern part of San Francisco Bay. "Cisco Systems is proud to partner with the Sonoma Land Trust," said Vincent Marengo, Cisco's Manager of Facilities for the Petaluma operation. "We believe it is important that Cisco is giving back to the community as well as working to preserve the quality of life that we all enjoy in Sonoma County. It is key that Cisco employees know that their recycling efforts are paying off in a very tangible way."
Over the past year, Cisco Petaluma's comprehensive recycling campaign has met with tremendous success. Operating under the philosophy of "reducing, reusing and recycling," the Petaluma campus has converted over 52% of its waste to recycling, for a total of over 104,000 lbs. of recycled material.
"Sonoma Land Trust is grateful to receive this donation from Cisco's recycling program," said Karen d'Or, Development Director for Sonoma Land Trust. "It is very gratifying to invest these profits into our important natural habitat restoration and public access work at Sonoma Baylands. We're enjoying working with Cisco employees to help conserve the lands neighboring Petaluma."
In addition to contributing financially, Cisco is committing manpower to the Sonoma Baylands Project. By creating an opportunity for volunteerism and by encouraging its employees to participate in the Project, Cisco's partnership with Sonoma Land Trust is poised to make great headway. Tours of the restoration site are underway and the partnership is planning a series of employee volunteer workdays. Critical volunteer projects include monitoring the property, assisting with bird counts, and installing interpretive materials along the pubic access trail, among others.
The Sonoma Land Trust is a private non-profit organization that has protected more than 13,000 acres since 1976. With a membership base of more than sixteen hundred supporters, the Trust works directly with willing landowners who choose to keep their lands intact. Local, private, and nonprofit, the Trust acts quickly to address landowners' goals and to provide permanent protection of Sonoma County land, its natural beauty and its biotic resources.
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