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Getting Dirty with DUG

#22: Meet a few of our amazing volunteers

Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. The B Corp community works toward reduced inequality, lower levels of poverty, a healthier environment, stronger communities, and the creation of more high-quality jobs with dignity and purpose. By harnessing the power of business, B Corps use profits and growth as a means to a greater end: positive impact for their employees, communities, and the environment.

B-Local Colorado is a team of business leaders that engage and oversee Certified B Corps. This spring, DUG partnered with B-Local for a fun and productive volunteer day at El Oasis Community Garden.

Read our interviews with a few of the volunteers below.

Ellen (Patagonia Denver):

“We have a long-standing partnership with DUG. Last summer, we hosted a virtual gardening workshop together. Our missions really align. Patagonia is passionate about community engagement and how we can partner as much as possible with local organizations. Our store is opening late today so that we could volunteer this morning. Patagonia highly encourages all of its employees to get involved in the local community through volunteering. The fact that Patagonia pays its employees to volunteer makes it feel like community engagement is more important than just doing business. Not only is volunteering good for the well-being of those doing the work, but it feels good to know that what we’re doing is going to help the local community. It’s rewarding and gives you a sense of purpose. It just feels good to be able to take action and be a part of something during these hard times. Volunteering for DUG has a direct impact that can be seen. The work that we’re doing now is going to help feed people. It’s a good reset and reminder to slow down. Spending time in nature is more important now than ever.”

Ari (Patagonia Denver):

“I grew up in this neighborhood and still live here. I went to school at Bryant Webster. With our busy lives, volunteering with DUG has been an awesome opportunity to take a break and slow down. Gardening is great because it gives you something to take care of and it gets you out into the dirt and sun. My favorite part of today’s workday has been being able to spend time with friends and coworkers out in the dirt. I would encourage other groups like us to volunteer for DUG because it’s a great way to spend time with your coworkers outside of work and to meet new people in your community. 

David (B Lab):

“DUG’s slogan should be something like, “DUG: bringing people together.” Volunteering for DUG at a workday is a great way to bring people together. We get to interact with people we haven’t normally gotten to see in-person outside of our “COVID bubbles.” There’s nothing like some manual labor to start off the day and rock your senses. 

I work for B-Lab. We certify B Corps like Patagonia and organize group volunteer days like today. We chose to volunteer with DUG for many reasons- everyone here today shares a passion for community engagement and helping the environment.”

Ryan (Patagonia Denver): 

“I’m part of DUG’s Master Community Gardener Program and my wife is a DUG Master Composter. My favorite thing about DUG is the wide breadth of programming they offer which is open to everyone- from kids, to schools, to adults. DUG’s educational programming teaches life skills you just don’t learn in school. We have a home garden with seven fruit trees. My 3-year-old is already into gardening! She’ll be able to help me pick strawberries and peas this summer.

There’s no better feeling than knowing where your food comes from and that you helped grow it, and that there were no pesticides or herbicides used. I’m Patagonia’s Provision Food Line lead at our store, which was developed from the principles of organic regenerative agriculture. It teaches us how important it is to grow your food in the ground and not to get your soil from a store.

We’ve been amending the soil at our home garden for two years now- adding compost and horse manure and making compost tea. Learning about our Provisions products alone has taught me a lot. Patagonia is one of the first to launch the Regenerative Organic Certification Program (ROC). It’s kind of like the next step up from organic: Patagonia Provisions Line doesn’t use pesticides or herbicides, incorporates compost and animal manure, and then there’s an additional social justice aspect to it. We make sure that all employees are paid fair wages, have the opportunity to do training and education to advance their careers, and make sure they have safe working conditions. It’s not just about growing the food, it’s also about animal and worker welfare.” 

Employees from B-Local Colorado, Cause Labs, Scream Agency, & B-Lab:

“We love DUG. We’re hosting multiple Lunch & Learns together. All of us have paid volunteer time. It’s been great to see people in person during the pandemic and have that comradery. It’s so cool to see the impact just three hours of work has had on this space today. Having the time to give back to your community is priceless. Garden workdays with DUG are invigorating. Being outside, exercising in the fresh air is an amazing way to start the day. You feel so accomplished in such a short amount of time. You can get so much done as a team. When you feel like you’re doing one small thing like shoveling a pile of dirt and not getting much done, you look up at everyone else in your group and realize how much you’ve accomplished collectively. We’re absolutely rocking it!”

Hailey (Denver Parks + Rec): “I’ve volunteered with DUG in the past. I grew up in rural Virginia, where gardening and farming were a way of life. I was always put to work by my parents, so volunteering with DUG today and working in the dirt just feels natural to me.”

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