Serving up a community benefit
Schmidt Associates, Turner Construction Company employees participate in central Indiana Earth Day clean-up
Committed to servant leadership, sustainability, and a desire to serve and save Mother Earth, Schmidt Associates employees traded their drawing software and schematics for gloves and trash bags as they rolled up their sleeves and spent time beautifying Indianapolis parks for Earth Day 2022.
“The health and vitality of our neighborhood and our city is an important legacy worth maintaining and enhancing,” said Schmidt Associates CEO and Principal Sarah Hempstead. “That’s why when employees approached me about cleaning parks for Earth Day, I fully supported it. Schmidt Associates has a long history of being good community stewards, and this was another way to give back and make a difference.”
Starting at home
With buy-in from Hempstead, Graduate Interior Designer Kathryn Roache and Sustainable Design Advocate | Associate Craig Flandermeyer mapped out a schedule and put out a volunteer call to others in the firm. Their first stop was Davlan Park in the heart of the thriving Mass Ave neighborhood that Schmidt Associates calls home.
“We intentionally chose to start in our own backyard, and work our way north,” Roache said. “It’s important to keep a clean and tidy ‘home,’ and it just seemed very logical when you consider what it means to think globally while acting locally.”
Along the 10,000 sq. ft. stretch of park grounds, bags were filled with litter as chatter, laughs among friends and an occasional thank you from a passersby could be heard, offering the team reassurance of doing the right thing.
“It was a great opportunity to give back in our own neighborhood during the workday with colleagues as we ensured a better future for our city and planet,” Flandermeyer explained. “And that was just the start.”
Partners at work and in service
Enter Turner Construction Company. For the past ten years, Schmidt Associates and Turner Construction Company have partnered on projects that have transformed central Indiana landmarks. The relationship has continued today with the latest project being the Indiana Farm Bureau Fall Creek Pavilion that Schmidt Associates designed and Turner Construction broke ground on in 2021 during the Indiana State Fair.
“Since our firms are working on the Fall Creek Pavilion project, Turner asked us to partner with them for the 2022 CANstruction contest where life-sized structures made of canned food, displayed during the Fair, and then donated to Gleaners Food Bank to feed the hungry in central Indiana,” said Schmidt Associates Architectural Graduate Meghan Miller who is chairing CANstruction for Schmidt Associates. “We developed a good volunteer relationship with Turner, so teaming with them for Earth Day was a natural fit.”
Together, the firms cleaned up debris along the Fall Creek Trail, east of the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Working with another firm in the architecture, engineering, and construction industry allowed the other to give a little more than what they could accomplish on their own while strengthening relationships. Altogether, 15 volunteers filled 7 extra-large bags of trash while doing their parts to make central Indiana a better place to live and work.
“Everyone is responsible for investing in and protecting the planet,” Hempstead said. “With our strong culture of providing value by putting others before ourselves, we’re truly contributing to a stronger community and world. That is what we call servant leadership in action, and it’s a guiding principle in full swing both in- and outside of our firm.”