Our staff decided to take a break from tournament preparation and marketing to grab some landscaping tools and do a different kind of work. Early on a stuffy Thursday morning (July 20th), our staff piled into two trucks and drove to Old Ellicott City, outfitted in our recommended closed toe shoes, sunglasses, and work gloves. The mission for the morning was to clear out an overgrown hillside, weed a block of sidewalks, remove dead weeds from a retaining wall, and create a space for a new garden.
Old Ellicott City is one of those places that quickly upon visiting, you can feel the pride of the community and how special it is as a neighborhood of Maryland. As you enter the town on Main Street, you can’t miss the red bridge with “Ellicott City” hand-painted in a classic typeface and to your left is – until it was washed away by the recent flood – a historic clock that rests outside of the Ellicott City B & O Railroad Station.
Our staff took the back way into Old Ellicott City, so instead of the bridge and clock we were greeted in the parking lot by a handwritten welcome sign and the polite smile and instructions of Maureen, Executive Director of the Ellicott City Partnership and our foreman for the morning. She gave us a tour of our assignments and handed out the tools before we split into teams to get to work. After 2.5 hours in the sun – which beat down on us relentlessly like we had personally wronged it – the work was finished and we took a break to survey our efforts and figure out where we were going to get some lunch. Originally, we were going to visit La Palapa around the corner because there is nobody in the world that doesn’t enjoy tacos, but unfortunately it wasn’t open yet. Instead, at the suggestion of Maureen, we piled back into our trucks and headed to nearby Catonsville for a lunch at Duesenberg’s, which was packed with the daily lunch crowd and couldn’t accommodate our group’s size. We solved that problem – and our hunger problem – with a quick walk around the corner to Taneytown Deli before heading back to the office.
This corporate social responsibility project was especially important to us because it provided an opportunity for our company to complete a project right in our own backyard. We knew that we wanted to be able to give back by working on a project as close to our business community as possible and this opportunity with the Ellicott City Partnership filled all our criteria. In 2016, around 8.2 inches of rain fell in historic Ellicott City in just three hours causing a devastating flood that destroyed homes, cars, and businesses. A large majority of the overgrown areas we cleared that day were part of the aftermath of the flooding. It was truly a great experience to be a part of cleaning up this historic neighborhood. It felt like perfect timing as we finished working and collectively stared at the men putting a fresh coat of bright red paint on the iconic Ellicott City Bridge, just a week before the ceremony for the return of the historic clock and the anniversary of the flood.
Check out our photos from the trip: https://goo.gl/y7HXty