Orange County Branch Newsletter

September 2015

Secretary's Column

Part 2 of a 7-Part Series on Volunteering

By Greg Henk, PE

Part 2 – Benefits of Volunteering

ASCE-OC has an active and growing outreach program.  When you volunteer with technical organizations, you expand the network that you have within the professional community.  It’s certainly beneficial as you go through your career to have people you feel comfortable bouncing ideas off of, especially outside of your company.  Through that networking, people get to know you and your capabilities – they might even let you know when there might be some opportunity that they think will be of interest to you.  Within your organization, volunteering raises your company’s image and therefore, your image within your organization.  Numerous studies indicate physical health benefits related to volunteering, from the “Helper’s High” to longevity.  It also brings on personal satisfaction.  These latter benefits relate to professional as well as non-professional volunteering.  ASCE-OC offers opportunities to achieve these benefits – if interested, contact Greg Henk.


The San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park Bridge Railings retrofit project continues to advance.  Under our MOU, for the first of four bridges, the conceptual design of alternative railings (including steel and wood), as well as an assessment of the crash worthiness of these concepts have been submitted to the Zoo.  We are setting up a meeting to select an alternative, start development of the connection construction bid documents, discuss fund raising activities and start efforts to prepare for a spring, 2016 “construction Day” for ASCE and EWB membership to install the railings and related work.

Corazon’s project efforts continue.  EWB-OC and ASCE-OC have agreed to help develop a Sanitation element to the homes (both new and retrofit) and for their developing community centers in Tecate, Mexico.  We are prioritizing existing homes for retrofit construction and finalizing the standard for new home construction.

The US National Forest Service has agreed to partner with ASCE-OC and EWB-OC (through the Community Engineering Corps (CEC) partnership program) to engineer the needed improvements for facilities that might otherwise not be improved.  In addition we have agreed to provide Volunteer Groups for day-long trail and facility improvement work, possibly including overseeing disadvantaged youth work teams.  A Master Agreement has been developed and it is anticipated that it will be executed in September.  A Supplemental Project Agreement will then be developed for the first project that is anticipated to be the Wildwood Picnic Area reconstruction (the area was destroyed in a fire).  A CEC Agreement between ASCE and EWB will also be developed to move ahead with the Wildwood improvements.  Volunteer Group activities will be developed for 2016.

Member volunteers are sought for each of these projects.  Please contact Greg Henk (or 949-292-2505) if you are willing to help out in any capacity.

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