Project Name: Olympia Tree Planting/ Community Clean-Up
Written by Amberle Lim
Our second CATW feature is focused on the work of Vindhya Adamala, an incredible individual from Olympia, Washington State. Similar to several other participants, Vindhya’s work within the program was beyond our expectations and inspired great change to those in her community. Her dedication and passion was visible throughout her time as a participant, and I had the opportunity to connect with her over email.
Vindhya’s project involved two major events: tree planting and a local community clean-up. It was an incredibly well run project that was successful through the detailed planning and teamwork that emerged from it. In addition to her own work, Vindhya was able to expand her team by working closely with community leaders, local schools and environmental experts. It was certainly an initiative that showcased our program’s goals and brought together a community of people hoping to make a difference.
In reaching out to her, I decided that the focal point of our discussion would revolve around the inspiration behind this project. Vindhya explained that there were several factors that contributed to her decision, specifically she shared that she wanted a way “to address local environmental concerns while fostering a sense of community.” Her vision centered around raising awareness about the importance of protecting the local environment and she wanted to ensure that people were taking action to preserve their beautiful city. Vindhya realized that a community cleanup would allow her to embrace her passion and benefit the city along the way. She believed that having witnessed the degradation of the environment around her and the inaction from many, it was her role to finally take action and catalyze change. In our conversation, she shared that her main goal of “bringing people together cleanup could have a lasting impact and encourage a culture of responsibility.” It certainly inspired change and left an imprint on all of those who worked alongside her during the weeks of planning and preparing.
The inspiration behind it certainly made me curious about how Vindhya had stumbled across our CATW program. She shared some incredible points with me and said that our program’s focus on “creating
positive change through hands-on projects resonated best.” Due to that, it pushed her to connect with like-minded individuals across town and that drew her closer to a project with a meaningful cause. Additionally, she shared that the program’s emphasis on promoting positive change on a global scale gave her the idea that she would be collaborating with changemakers from various backgrounds and cultures. To her, this was an exciting way to address the environmental issues that she wanted to bring into the spotlight. Hence, the opportunity to learn from others and contribute to a larger cause was what inspired Vindhya to apply.
As well, I asked Vindhya to share her experience with the application process to see if it was similar to many of our participants. She shared that it was relatively straightforward and well-structured, but more importantly “the questions allowed me to showcase my passion for environmental causes and ideas for community involvement.” It enabled her to share her own goals as it served as a platform to “articulate how I could contribute to positive change in my local community.”
In preparing for her project, Vindhya explained that LATW played a crucial role that helped make her project a huge success in both her community and our program. While the majority of the work was done by her and her team, she said that our executives were a major help because “they guided us through project planning, volunteer engagement, and sustainable practices.” With our team, it helped her create a detailed project proposal and further connect with others in the program. For her, she shared that her project involved a lot of planning and coordination, which was key to getting her vision started. All her hard work certainly was noticeable because through her continuous efforts, she was able to engage
participants of all ages and educate them.
She additionally explained that “the unity during the cleanup and the joy of planting trees left a lasting impression.” It was heartwarming for us to see her project spring to life and her continued dedication allowed her to collaborate with local authorities to sustain the project's impact.
In our final question, I asked her what type of impact she personally felt she had left with the project she hosted. Vindhya shared that the community cleanup along with the tree planting “left a visible impact on our surroundings.” The streets were definitely cleaner, and the newly planted trees she said “symbolized a greener future.” She felt proud of the accomplishments she had made and the positive change was written across the faces of many of her participants in the form of a smile. Vindhya’s hard work was widely appreciated by both the locals and our team here at LATW. Her ability to channel her passion for the environment into this project captured the spirit of a fantastic leader and one we will always remember.