IDAHO FALLS — Almost 300 enthusiastic Melaleuca employees took to the riverside Thursday afternoon, hacking away at willows, trimming trees, and enjoying themselves.
Idaho Falls wellness company Melaleuca teamed up with the city of Idaho Falls and the Parks and Recreations Department to beautify the Snake River by pruning back overgrowth, picking up debris, and doing other landscaping projects.
The large-scale service project naturally fit into the company’s mission of improving lives, said event coordinators.
“It’s already in our mission statement,” Vice President of Human Resources Jamie Reynolds told EastIdahoNews.com. “‘Enhance lives.'”
Melaleuca regularly provides funding for projects in the area, including the new Heritage Park. When executives were looking for a project to help with, they didn’t have to look far.
“They called and said, ‘We have all these volunteers. Where can we help?'” Reynolds said. Clearing out the willows and debris from the riverside was a task the city had meant to do for years. City employees from several different departments were pulled from their regular duties to help by driving dump trucks and running chainsaws.
Together, the effort covered an estimated two-and-a-half miles on both sides of the Snake River, from just north of Freeman Park to the Broadway Street bridge. Their goal was to open up the view of the river.
“It was great to see the excitement and energy from everyone,” Reynolds said. She noted that volunteers for the project came from every department in the company — right up to and including CEO Melaleuca Jerry Felton.
“They did about 1,020 hours worth of work,” said Renee Buchan, volunteer coordinator for Idaho Falls. “We filled over 20 trucks full of debris, and we have more waiting to be gathered up.”