LyondellBasell volunteers create outdoor classroom at Bayshore Elementary
Project part of company's worldwide community-service day
(April 26, 2008) LyondellBasell's day of giving back began in the rain last Saturday, April 26, but it didn't dampen the spirits of the 106 LyondellBasell volunteers who came out to help Bayshore Elementary School during LyondellBasell Global Care Day.
"We braved the rain and the mud, but what we created together will increase awareness of the environment with the kids," said Shujath Masarath of the LyondellBasell Bayport Choate Plant, co-champion of the Global Care Day project at Bayshore. "All of us came together and worked as one group and got everything done. It was nice to see the families of people we work with helping employees, along with the Bayshore teachers."
LyondellBasell Global Care Day is a worldwide community-service initiative that this year involved 3,000 employees, friends and family members in 56 communities in 11 countries where LyondellBasell has operations. Each project receives funding as well as free volunteer labor.
"It's very important to me that I work for a company that supports the community," said Maria Medrano of LyondellBasell Bayport Choate Plant, co-champion of the Global Care Day project at Bayshore. "It makes me feel proud to help people in need."
Twelve projects were held in the greater Houston area, with three others in Bay Area Houston: the city of Shoreacres City Hall Garden, Armand Bayou Nature Center and The Bridge Over Troubled Waters' emergency women's shelter, which serves Pasadena, La Porte, Shoreacres, Morgan's Point and Deer Park.
At Bayshore, volunteers from the LyondellBasell Bayport Choate Plant built a nature habitat that will serve as an exploratory classroom with 780 square feet of native Texas plants from different ecosystems. The area will be used as part of the curriculum to teach children about the environment and the importance of protecting it.
"I have never seen such an organized group of volunteers willing to take time out of their busy schedules to help schools develop a habitat that will capture the minds of students with science," said Bayshore Principal Patricia Herrera-Johnson.
A 300-foot irrigation system was installed in trenches dug by volunteers and a 200-foot fence was raised. The focal point is a large stunning pergola, under which classes can congregate. The pergola is nearly 11 feet tall and is 16 feet by 16 feet big.
"Our community, our schools in La Porte ISD and our environment are very important to us," said LyondellBasell Bayport Choate Plant Manager Steve Wood. "When we can combine all of that in a great day working side by side with our co-workers and families, it means a lot to us."
The school discussed at length with the LyondellBasell volunteers and with habitat curriculum specialist Sheila Brown of the Environmental Institute of Houston how to sustain and maintain the habitat, said Herrera-Johnson.
"We are prepared to maximize its use by integrating science learning for our students," said Herrera-Johnson. "This is truly a gift for our students in the name of science."
The company began Global Care Day in 2000 to challenge employees at each of its worldwide locations to participate on the same day in community service above and beyond ongoing community involvement activities. Employees organize their activities around one of the company's three community focus areas: environment, education and community sustainability.
Worldwide activities range from landscaping and habitat development to carpentry and maintenance at children's or seniors' centers, to construction of wheelchair ramps and flagpoles.
LyondellBasell Industries is one of the world's largest polymers, petrochemicals and fuels companies, producing chemicals used in everyday products, such as medicines, foods, food packaging, paints and plastics.
In Bay Area Houston, LyondellBasell has five facilities with more than 3,000 employees and contractors providing more than $1.4 billion to the local economy through payroll, benefits, purchases and taxes. They produce chemicals used in everyday products, such as medicines, foods, food packaging, paints and plastics. Lyondell Chemical and Basell merged in December 2007 to form LyondellBasell Industries.
Bayshore Elementary and La Porte ISD say a big "Thank You!" to
LyondellBassell employees for their Global Care Day work at Bayshore Elementary.