By Libby Smith

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – As part of Xcel Energy’s 10th Annual Day of Service, some of the utility’s employees are doing small, socially distanced volunteer projects. The Sand Creek Regional Greenway was among the locations who agreed to host those projects.

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“These volunteer events help to really keep our scheduling on track. Nature doesn’t stop just because COVID hit,” said Monique Fair, Educational Programming Manager & Event Coordinator for the Sand Creek Regional Greenway.

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The Greenway runs through Denver, Aurora, and Commerce City, and is a habitat for many, different species, including beavers. During the Day of Service project, volunteers put fencing around some healthy trees to protect them from being felled by beavers.

“We want the beavers to feel welcome here, but we also need our recreational users to feel welcome here too,” Fair explained.

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The trail is busy with bikers, so keeping it maintained is important work.

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“Early days in the pandemic, I’d come out here riding my bike and I’ve seen more people using them, so these are the times we need these resources and so being out here and I’m helping, very important,” said Neil Cowan, a Regulatory Policy Specialist for Xcel Energy.

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Cowan was the leader of a group of 8 volunteers working on the trail for Day of Service. Everyone was wearing masks, and working individually or in couplings of family members.
Cowan is proud that Xcel Energy was able to reimagine Day of Service in a way that allows him to help out.

“These community resources, these community gems, they need us. And so even though it’s scaled down, we’re still providing an impact,” Cowan told CBS4.

LINK: Download the Day of Service Bingo Card

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In-person projects, like this one on Sand Creek, are reserved for Xcel employees only. The utility is encouraging the general public to download a free Day of Service bingo card which has 24 suggested acts of kindness that you can do right in your own neighborhood.

Libby Smith