This year, as usual, Earth Day fell on April 22, 2020, but observing the day was anything but business as usual. Celebrating Earth Day during the COVID-19 pandemic meant having to keep activities virtual and home-based. But did this slow down our team of talented and creative property managers? Not one bit! Our theme this year was “Water Smarter.” Here is a small sampling of DOC’s Earth Day activities across the portfolio.
Cami Miller and Lisa Shull of Bennett Williams Commercial, who manage DOC’s Harrisburg, PA portfolio shared, “We promoted the Water Footprint Calculator through a series of broadcast messages and social media posts. These messages included tips on water conservation and a link to the Water Footprint Calculator. If you haven’t tried the calculator before, it goes through a series of questions with a water graphic that rises or drops based on your input regarding your daily living habits and calculates your footprint and then provides tips for conservation in each category. It is interactive and informative and is a great resource for those looking for ways to conserve.”
Two groups created Earth Day newsletters. The first came from our Atlanta portfolio, managed by Lauren Whitlock, Von Terry, Nicole Felder, Kathie Coldmon, Nancy Ziegler, and Jaime Nance of Realty Trust Group. The team reported, “We decided to create one Earth Day Newsletter to distribute to all of our MOBS. With water conservation as this year’s focus, we incorporated statistics, its importance, benefits, a quiz, and residential and commercial sustainability tips. In addition to the newsletter, we offered a guessing game in the building lobbies, handouts, and candy grab bags for the tenants/patients.”
Scott Hedrick and Ben Chrystak, the team who manage our Nebraska portfolio, created a digital newsletter that included links to home-based activities to share with the family, useful resources, and daily helpful hint handouts focusing on different aspects of water conservation.
DOC’s Minnesota and North Dakota portfolios, managed by the Davis team of Alicia Davis, Melissa Gomes, Emily Gruenhagen, Peggy Schatz, Julie Helten, and Jerry Anderson, encouraged their tenants to “sign in for hope, encouragement, education” with their digital Earth Day diary. They shared their favorite sounds and sights related to water conservation with links to various water conservation-related TED talks, documentaries, and activities.
Barb Bennett and Sydney Friddle, DOC’s duo managing our Louisville/Lexington, KY portfolio, challenged their tenants to a competition to document and share their water conservation at-home efforts. Tenants were encouraged to get creative, involve their families, and send pictures showcasing the great things, big or small, they did in the community to help conserve water. Selected competition winners received water smarter-related prizes.
In addition to tenant-focused activities, our property management team was asked to conduct a visual inspection at each of their properties, looking for and noting leaky or outdated faucets and toilets, outdoor sprinkler systems, and other water-related equipment needing repair or replacement. After completion of the audits, property managers were asked to discuss their findings with their Regional Asset Managers to advise them what could be repaired or updated this year and what would need to be considered in future capital planning. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and safety considerations, the timeline for those inspections was extended.
We appreciate the many creative (and virtual) ways to “Water Smarter” and for keeping focused on what’s most important now and always – our tenants.