By Sue Pascoe
The long hillside along Swarthmore (between Antioch and Bowdoin) that abuts the Palisades Elementary School playground was cleaned up by a group of volunteers on May 24.
It was the inaugural Caruso Cares Day of Service, in which Caruso employees from various construction sites go into different community locations to help with beautification projects.
“It was a great success today with about 200 of the company’s employees volunteering across the greater Los Angeles area,” a Caruso spokesperson said. In the Palisades about 15 Caruso workers clad in navy blue shirts joined Hilary Rose, the owner of Dirty Girl Organic Landcare, and members of Palisades PRIDE in weeding, raking, pruning and planting the Swarthmore hillside.
“Goodwill and community outreach have always been central to our mission at Caruso with civic responsibility being one of the company’s founding principles and that spirit was felt across the region at our first annual Caruso Cares Day of Service,” the spokesperson said.
PRIDE member Bruce Schwartz helped pull ivy from the northern area of the property, across from CVS. “Ivy is a vector for rats and rodents,” he said. “It’s obnoxious stuff.”
“We filled about 15 bags of weeds and trash in the first hour,” said Caruso’s Palisades Village Project Director Michael Gazzano. The team ultimately collected more than 30 bags of debris.
Caruso employee Sunil Watumull said they were happy to help and “We’re really excited about our project opening in Sep- tember.”
“Caruso is and always has been, at heart, a purpose-driven company,” the spokesperson said. “We care deeply about our local communities and truly wanted to provide employees with an opportunity to work with a cause that is meaningful to them. This day of giving back and volunteerism honors the spirit of philanthropy that has been at our core since our company’s inception.”
Next time you drive along this stretch of Swarthmore, take a look at the hillside and give thanks to Caruso employees, PRIDE members and the Dirty Girl owner and workers for their beautification efforts.