Finegold Alexander Celebrates Volunteering Month: Rose Kennedy Greenway

In our first installment for the Volunteering Month series, Associate Lara Pfadt discusses our office’s annual tradition

From left to right: Mary McCarthy, Lara Pfadt, and Gabriela Baierle at last year’s Greenway volunteering event

With Finegold Alexander Architect’s sole office located in the historic North End, we believe it is important to contribute to the community we work in. For several years now our firm has volunteered with Boston’s Rose Kennedy Greenway, getting our hands dirty and giving back to one of the greatest public resources within the city!

Associate and Sustainability Strategist Lara Pfadt, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, has organized this event since it’s origins in 2017. In the spirit of celebrating National Volunteering Month, we were joined by Lara to learn more about the tradition and understand what volunteering as a whole, means to her.

Q: How did this tradition of volunteering at the greenway get started?

L: Back several years ago, the firm was looking for an opportunity to give back to our neighborhood. What could be better than to support your neighborhood and be outdoors together making a difference? The Rose Kennedy Greenway is such a fantastic community resource for so many people in the city, including locals, tourists, and ourselves. The organization does so much work to preserve and upkeep this public resource in a mindful manner, for example, it requires more upkeep because of their decision to refrain from using pesticides on the environment. They look at the greenway holistically and think of the best ways to protect it, and its’ users. It seemed like an obvious choice for getting involved.

Q: What do you look forward to most about this outing?

L: For me, personally, I really enjoy getting my hands dirty and making a direct impact on our city. I always enjoy getting the opportunity to bond with peers outside of the office, in an environment where everyone feels comfortable and equal. When we’re weeding or planting bulbs, we’re not Associates, Principals, or early-career designers, we’re people working together, partaking in the same tasks, for a common cause. I learn something new about people each year, even if it is someone I have known for years.

These days especially, I think it is important to be able to take a step back from our computers and screens, and come together in a new environment. It’s even better that it is outside on a beautiful park. This type of experience can really refresh you.

Q: What does volunteering, specifically for your neighborhood, mean to you?

L: Volunteering has a huge, positive impact on our city and the people who live there. To be part of that effort and give back is important and a privilege and so important, the bettering our shared environment for the sake of everybody.