Expanding our commitment to improve the quality of life

Our employees are passionate about improving the quality of life – through local community volunteerism, outreach, individual and company contributions and, of course, through our project partnerships with clients. But we knew we could do more.

Our employees are passionate about improving the quality of life – through local community volunteerism, outreach, individual and company contributions and, of course, through our project partnerships with clients. But we knew we could do more. Near the end of 2017, we announced our Arcadis Pro Bono Program, where we gave our entire North American staff the opportunity to nominate a project where we will bring the full force of our exceptional people and services to a community or organization.

With nearly 30 detailed applications submitted, each project exemplifies our employees’ passion for improving the quality of life across the United States and Canada. It was an incredibly difficult decision, but we selected two Arcadis Pro Bono Program Award winners: Sarina Sriboonlue for her project in Los Angeles, and Jackie Saling for her project in Detroit.

Turn Los Angeles from gray to green

Sarina Sriboonlue, project engineer and certified project manager in Irvine, CA, submitted a proposal to turn “gray to green” in the second largest city in the United States – Los Angeles.

Sarina explained why she was so excited to receive the news that her project was selected: “I’m ecstatic to be partnering with The Nature Conservancy to not only improve the quality of life in a community where I live but to also demonstrate the expertise and capabilities that our Arcadis teammates can bring to the table to transform gray to green infrastructure solutions.”

The Nature Conservancy’s Urban Conservation Program promotes the use of natural infrastructure to solve pressing urban environmental challenges such as storm water management and includes a goal to enhance biodiversity in urban areas. The group is working on policy, financing, and science solutions and recently conducted an exercise to select a project site near the Los Angeles River, where it has a permeable bottom due to groundwater upwelling, as well as significant vegetation.

By utilizing natural infrastructure instead of traditional gray infrastructure, TNC hopes to improve water quality and reintroduce nature back to urban areas where it has been absent for decades. Arcadis is proud to be part of this exciting work by providing support pro-bono and looks forward to a strong partnership with The Nature Conservancy moving forward.

Repurposing a school in Detroit

Jackie Saling, associate vice president and principal engineer, submitted a proposal to repurpose an existing school building in Detroit into a new, innovative community center.

Jackie shared with me why she has so much passion for this project: “Born and raised in the Detroit area, it’s the city I’ve been rooting for my whole life. I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to give back to this community, my home, with the Arcadis Pro Bono Program.”

Life Remodeled is a Detroit‐based non‐profit that invests in community rehabilitation. Its project involves repurposing Detroit’s Durfee Elementary‐Middle School into a Community Innovation Center focused on entrepreneurship, education and community. The Community Innovation Center will provide recreation, after‐school programming and career education for Detroit Public School students by providing real‐world educational experiences.

The 143,000 square-foot school building was erected in 1927 and in need of a major renovation and building improvements to be functional. As part of its partnership with Life Remodeled and its commitment to the Detroit community, Arcadis is providing pro-bono support including engineering design and consulting services to support the building transformation. This includes expertise and guidance to assess and remediate asbestos and lead based paint, health and safety assessments and planning, property conditions assessments, space planning and architectural design, and insulation design.

The Community Innovation Center will operate in collaboration with nearby Central High School and the Detroit Public Schools Community District to provide hands-on education to students. Entrepreneurs will guest lecture in classrooms and students will have the opportunity to learn subjects, such as math and finance, with real examples from case studies of business ventures taking place within the center. Community members of all ages will have access to resources and space to learn about entrepreneurship and employment opportunities. The center will also serve as community and recreational space for families and children.

We are thrilled to be supporting the enhancements to help the Community Innovation Center meet the vision of Life Remodeled and improve the quality of life in Detroit.

Our employees prove our commitment

Our staff across North America continue to prove time and time again that we live our passion of improving the quality of life where we live, work and play. We look forward to sharing updates on these two amazing projects in the future.