On Friday, April 27th, 2012 the Forum Young Lawyers Section (FYLS) and ARCADIS sponsored and coordinated the American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry Community Service Event in Las Vegas, NV. Thirty attorney and consultant volunteers assisted the Nature Conservancy with the cleanup of the Eglington Preserve area. Our goal was to aid and ensure proper habitat conditions for plant and animal species, including the endangered Las Vegas bear poppy, as well as, the desert tortoise.
Under the guidance of Nature Conservancy staff, our assigned task was to remove trash and non-biodegradable debris thereby contributing to the general health of the Nevada desert ecosystem. Incorporating lessons learned from previous desert adventures, we came prepared with work gloves, baseball caps, sunscreen, water and energy bars. We then spent three hours bending, lifting, toting, and exploring. The desert fauna and wildlife were awe-inspiring. We saw jack rabbits, burrow owls, chipmunks, and a desert tortoise hole. Among the unique items found was the elusive "Rosebud" by Joe Seibold, ARCADIS Construction Claims Services practice leader. One wonders why/how a Radio Flyer snow sled was lost in the Mohave Desert. Other items included a television set and a hand mixer.
Our merry band filled up twenty contractor bags, and hauled larger items to a mustering site — all the while building strong relationships, and enjoying the satisfaction of a job well done. A sanguine driver ferried us between the Bellagio Resort and the Mohave Desert (that, in itself, was yet another adventure — we learned that buses are not as adept in sand as dune buggies).
Beginning in 2009, FYLS and ARCADIS have coordinated the Forum Community Service projects. Previous events include renovation of New Orleans’ City Park (devastated during Hurricane Katrina), and trail clearing in the Sonoran Desert. Future events include the Boston Harbor Island Alliance service project and the Salt Creek Beach Cleanup, Dana Point, California. FYLS and ARCADIS look forward to colleagues and friends joining to Give the Gift of Green, and give back to our industry and our environment. Special thanks goes to our Chair, Carla Dillon of Jones Walker and FYLS. I was delighted to serve as co-chair and help our on-site host, ARCADIS, ensure that the volunteers had a safe and enjoyable day in the desert.