As part of Airbnb’s annual Week For Good, Airbnb employees and hosts gave back to the East Bay community by volunteering to help with beautification efforts at the Gardens at Lake Merritt and the Oakland Zoo.
Over 40 volunteers helped remove invasive species at the Oakland Zoo—and, in the process, got a sneak peek at the park’s California Trail Expansion, which will open to the public in 2018.
The trail expansion will help to redefine the Oakland Zoo as a wildlife park with statewide significance. The work volunteers did along the trail will help to protect and enhance the habitat for native plants and wildlife.
Meanwhile, a dozen hosts joined over 30 employees to mulch, plant, weed and clean The Gardens at Lake Merritt, a seven-acre collection of themed gardens conveniently located at Lakeside Park, the country’s first wildlife refuge. Established more than a half century ago, the Gardens serve as a cultural and educational center in the heart of the city.
The group received instruction and training on low-impact, environmentally friendly gardening techniques, and had the chance to watch staff release monarch butterflies into the pollination area.
Unfortunately, these gardens were vandalized just a few days after community members volunteered. Over $50,000 in damages were done to the garden’s grounds and equipment. The Airbnb community in the East Bay immediately joined efforts to restore the gardens and on June 3, employees and hosts, along with other garden volunteers, will help revitalize the garden and clean the debris caused by the vandalization.