“The Trumbull Nature and Arts Center is a very important part of our town and community, bringing in young families and area schools to learn and enjoy the Center’s arts and sciences,” said Leeper, Facilities Manager, at Henkel’s Trumbull, CT site. “We enjoy getting the Center ready for the daily visitors and seasonal classrooms. One part of our volunteer work was the funding for an outdoor classroom. This allows Center volunteers and instructors to hold classes outside, but away from the summer sun and other weather conditions.”
“Having them there shows the rest of the community that we have this support from our corporate partners and lets the community know that we are here and we have the support of an important business in town, and it adds something that we otherwise couldn’t get,” Malone said. "It is amazing to have Henkel on our team and supporting us.”
Instilling a love for nature
As part of their partnership, Henkel and the Trumbull Nature and Arts Center work to bring natural learning to young people who aren’t often exposed to nature.
“We know that many students in underserved urban communities don’t have the same kind of access to nature that students in suburban neighborhoods may have,” said Sheryl Baumann, executive director of the Trumbull Arts and Nature Center.
Last year, Henkel and the center collaborated on a project for first-grade students in Bridgeport, Connecticut, focused on new ways to get kids outdoors. “Nature does exist nearly everywhere, if you know how to find it,” Baumann said. “With this in mind, we wanted to give students and teachers the tools they need to go outside and view nature in their own schoolyards, whether it's a flower bed around the school perimeter, some trees near a fence, birds flying by, or a dandelion struggling to grow through the cracks of a sidewalk.”
The partners developed a curriculum for the program and rolled it out to multiple schools in Bridgeport during the last academic year, and Henkel volunteers packed supplies like binoculars, bug viewers and butterfly nets into backpacks to help students on their journeys.
Engaging employees while supporting the community
These ongoing initiatives further the center’s mission by increasing engagement with nature among the community’s youth and encouraging students to think creatively about environmental science.
“The Trumbull Nature and Arts Center is a great example of how our MIT program can come to life when a team of employees put their minds to it,” Curley said. “We know the easy part is the funding — the hard work is getting out and getting it done. MIT programs involve a wide variety of Henkel employees, from frontline employees to senior executives who volunteer their time for the causes they care about. We are enormously proud of our people and the things they do.”
Supporting nonprofits like the center also affords measurable benefits for employee engagement. “We hear from our employees that it is meaningful that Henkel supports the projects that are important to them,” Curley continued. “It’s not about the amount of money, it's about supporting the work they do.”
Read more about Henkel’s community support in North America.