For thousands of years, the Mission blue butterfly has called the coastal landscape of the San Francisco Bay area home.
One of the first insects to be placed on the National Endangered Species list in 1976, the butterfly is found in just a few sites throughout three counties in the San Francisco area.
Coty Sifuentes-Winter, a national resources specialist, like others at the National Park Service, works to ensure the species is protected for generations to come.
Coty, along with one intern, two regular volunteers, and 20-25 other volunteers, maintains the 335 acres of parklands at Fort Baker, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.
More than 100 Wells Fargo volunteers recently participated in the effort. [Look at photos of the volunteers in action.]
Wells Fargo volunteers removed invasive plants and weeded trails and paths to help protect the butterfly’s habitat. They also picked up trash and watered plants to maintain the beauty of the park.
Maveric Vu and Nathan Bricklin from Wells Fargo Wholesale Banking worked closely with the National Park Service to organize the volunteer event.
“Every weed pulled, plant watered, and blister formed contributed to a larger effort to preserve our natural resources for future generations,” says Maveric.
Coty says receiving the more than 200 hours of help from the Wells Fargo volunteers saved six gallons of herbicide and six weeks of work by his team. He says his preference is always to have volunteers help instead of using potentially harmful chemicals.
“I want my kids’ kids to experience what we experience,” says Coty, who visited his first National Park at the age of 6. The visit to Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota inspired his career, he says. “It’s amazing to see the biodiversity that is found in our national parks for anyone to come and enjoy.”
Nathan says, “It’s so neat to see how excited team members get when pulling giant weeds. The dedication is inspiring.”
Says Wells Fargo volunteer Nick Caccavo: “We have no idea that there is an endangered species right next door that has a completely different rhythm and lifecycle that we have an impact on. I feel privileged to help.”