Presqu'ile Winery staff volunteer to beautify Santa Maria Valley YMCA
January 14, 2018
Tapping into the spirit of community on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a dozen employees from Orcutt-based Presqu'ile Winery grabbed their shovels, rakes and gloves to plant more than 60 trees near the recently installed solar field at the Santa Maria Valley YMCA.
"Presqu'ile contacted us wanting to look for a volunteer opportunity and that's what is going on today," said Brenee English, marketing director for the Santa Maria Valley YMCA.
As countless Santa Marians enjoyed the three-day weekend, Presqu'ile employee Brian van der Merwe spent his Monday morning covered in dirt as he worked to coat a nearby row of trees with fresh soil.
"This is a day of service [for us] and is part of our sustainability efforts," van der Merwe explained. "We are SIP (Sustainability in Practice) certified winery [so] when we share our skills or offer our help, we prefer to do it in a sustainable space."
Within the year, the trees, planted near the solar field, will grow and cover the fence that separates the nearby park from the solar equipment.
"We wanted to put a row of trees to beautify it and make it seamless and natural," English said.
Though new to weekend volunteering and tasked with the sometimes difficult task of boring holes, Stacy Columnas, Jenika Moreno and Michelle Cordova called their work important and enjoyable.
"It feels good to give back to the community," Columnas said, adding that she wishes it is something she could do more often. Moreno called the event a good team-building exercise.
Cordova, a senior at Cal Poly, said participating in volunteer work is a good way to remind people that Martin Luther King Jr. Day is not simply another three-day weekend.
"A lot of my peers were excited to have a three-day weekend because we just went back to school," added Cordova, a Cal Poly senior. "We need to remember what this day is about and why we have it off. Volunteering like this really puts that into perspective."