Every year, Facebook gives hundreds of their interns the chance to leave their laptops behind and make a difference outdoors, along the Bay. “People need that connection with the Earth,” says Lauren Swezey. “When I’ve been inside all day, and then I take a step outdoors and inhale, exhale… I can feel my mood changing.” As Sustainability and Community Outreach Manager, Lauren forms partnerships with environmental organizations like Save The Bay. “It’s important for us to pass a healthy Bay on to our kids and grandkids. The next generations are what drive me to improve our environment, to get others passionate about renewable energy, sustainable homes, and the natural world.”Lauren is convinced: it takes a community to battle the toughest environmental problems. “We have a huge challenge ahead of us with climate change, and it’s going to take everyone working together to solve it. It can’t just come from one area. It has to ring the entire Bay Area.” Facebook helps lead the charge by supporting environmental stewardship across the region. For the last three years, it has sponsored Bay Day, an official holiday that unites Bay Area communities to celebrate San Francisco Bay, its people and wildlife. Hundreds of its employees have also made a huge impact out in the field restoring wetlands and reducing pollution alongside our Restoration staff. Now, Save The Bay is thrilled to shine the spotlight on Facebook for its generous support of other environmental causes around the Bay Area. When Lauren shared a few of these collaborative efforts with us, we pictured the bird and wildlife habitat our staff and caring community work to protect.
Santa Clara Valley and Sequoia Audubon Societies
“Our campuses are situated in the middle of a huge migration path for birds. We’ve been working with the Santa Clara Valley and Sequoia Audubon for a long time, and with their guidance, we ensured our buildings included a total of 340,000 square feet of bird-friendly glass.” But the company went a step further, establishing a rooftop garden where these Audubon societies have been monitoring birds’ resting and migration habitats. In three years, 47 different species have made a pit stop on this green roof.
San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory:
“They’ve been holding nature walks and bird walks on our campus and beyond. Our employees have found it very eye-opening to be out along the marshland learning about the birds they see all around them. Right now, we’re supporting the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory’s work studying nesting birds.” Thanks to Facebook’s generosity, thousands of people will have an opportunity to learn about local species – birds, fish, and many others – right by the shoreline this Bay Day at the Palo Alto Baylands Restoration Festival. Everyone has a chance to be a Bay Hero alongside Save The Bay’s Bay saving team. Lauren says she and her colleagues are looking forward to the big event. “We’re excited to support Bay Day! It just makes so much sense to celebrate the most incredible feature of the Bay Area – the Bay. Facebook sits right on the Bay, so we wanted to support this great initiative. I hope it continues for many years!”