Our Impact 2017

Thank you, volunteers!


Ann Arbor, MI

Beautified downtown Ann Arbor by planting flowers with A2 Blooms

Coordinator Carryn Lund says: Another small, strong, and successful CommuniTyler experience in Ann Arbor! We participated again in A2 Blooms, a day to beautify our downtown area. We dug in the dirt, laughed together, and helped bring more living green things to our city. We had almost all returning volunteers, though one seven-month-old was participating in her first. And she had a blast!


Boston, MA

Teamed up with Friends of the Boston Harbor Walk for a rejuvenation

Coordinators Elinor Mason and Olivia Green say: We had another fantastic CommuniTyler Boston! We cleaned up an impressive amount of bottles, bottle caps and other miscellaneous items along the Boston Harbor Walk in South Boston, and then migrated to an outdoor bar for the afternoon. We had a solid crew of 27 volunteers, many returning and a few new, including two babies and one very large puppy. As always, the weather held up and our day was glorious. Can’t wait for next year!


Boulder, CO

Planted trees in Columbia Cemetery on the Boulder Community Clean-up Day

Coordinator Mallory Combs says: CommuniTyler was incredible! We had a surprise winter storm and freeze Wednesday and Thursday the week before we were supposed to volunteer. We had close to six inches of snow just two days before CommuniTyler. Despite the bad weather, we had over 20 volunteers show up on a GORGEOUS day with sun and warm weather. We planted 21 trees in just two hours! They are already planning for 40 trees for CommuniTyler to plant next year!



Charlotte, NC

Sorted food for people in need at the Second Harvest Food Back of Metrolina

Coordinator Bill Farley says: We had a small turnout this year, but we were joined by other organizations for a total of more than 100 volunteers helping Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina sort through donated items. We went through several pallets of donations, disposing of damaged goods, and classifying the good items so they can be distributed back out to families and organizations. Items are typically donated by large, local retailers and then distributed to regional non-profits and agencies that support people in need, covering 19 counties in North Carolina and South Carolina.

We had beautiful weather and met in the parking lot for coffee and bagels at 8:30am. Before going inside the warehouse to work, we kicked off with traditional CommuniTyler Shake-down! We had fun, enjoyed the day and meeting other volunteers, and we look forward to next year.


Chicago, IL

Volunteered at the Anti-Cruelty Society, working to spread Tyler’s spirit to our furry friends

Coordinators Jamie Lyons and Euhbin Song


Evanston, IL

Removed invasive species and performed habitat restoration at Somme Woods

Coordinators Margaret Parker and Gui Vendemiatti say: We had a ton of fun sawing down and lopping Buckthorn, a really gnarly invasive species introduced by early European settlers. We would chop and cut it down, and then burn them in three different massive bonfires! It was certainly hard work and we all seemed to have a great time! The Cook County Forest Preserve people seemed really grateful for our work, and we were happy to be in Somme Woods for the sixth year running.


Frederick, MD

Cleaned up and planted native plants at Fountain Rock Park around the quarry pond

Coordinator Pat Brown says: Saturday was a great day of volunteering and having fun with our CommuniTyler friends in Frederick! We spent the morning weeding the butterfly garden and other areas of Fountain Rock Park. We filled up 20 trash bags of weeds and planted 10 different varieties of native plants to support more butterflies! We had the most number of volunteers ever, 23 folks, from as far away as Georgia and NYC. It was perfect weather and an awesome effort.


Honolulu, HI

Partnered with Sustainable Coasts Hawaii

Coordinator Rachel Saul says: This year’s CommuniTyler Honolulu was a beach clean-up success! We combed the coastline of Kailua, a busy windward beach, and removed not only your standard beach trash, but also many random items left behind: toothbrushes (?!), straws, fishing nets, micro plastic chips from canoes/kayaks/surfboards, red solo cups, plastic water bottles, and plenty of food-related trash.

We filled a big park trash can and felt so happy to have made a difference and to take some time to be together! We had seven volunteers in total, including a few young ones.

We also made a point to “talk story,” as they say here, to lots of strangers on the beach who were curious about what we were doing. Everyone’s eyes lit up with inspiration. We were channeling Tyler big time! Tyler was in our thoughts and it’s been so nice to talk about him and his incredible spirit.

Looking forward to next year. Sending love and aloha to all.


Los Angeles, CA

Cleaned up the harbor in Marina Del Rey

Coordinator Ted Barnes says: The event was a blast! We walked around Marina Del Rey and picked up approximately a million trashes. Two ducks followed us around. We ate burgers. It was a good day.


Mill Valley, CA

Returned to Homeward Bound for weeding, soil prep and planting to support the homeless shelter

Coordinators Kurt and Robin Lorenzi say: We had a spectacularly beautiful day in Marin and had the great fortune of sharing the day with 56 caring, loving people. For the fifth year in a row we worked in the gardens at Homeward Bound. We pulled wheelbarrels full of weeds, prepared new planting beds and planted tomatoes and succulents.

Afterward we met again in a local park for a fantastic picnic with loads of sandwiches and salads and washed down with Lagunitas beer and Chronic Cellars wines.

Ty would have enjoyed the day with so many people to meet and providing support to our homeless community.


Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN

Partnered with Minneapolis Parks and Rec to help with spring preparations at the Lyndale Park Community Gardens

Coordinators Teresa Fox and Matthew Waggenspack say: CommuniTyler Minneapolis had a great day over at the Lyndale Peace Gardens. A group of about 10 of us helped clean up the garden for spring with some vigorous weeding. We enjoyed learning about the garden and working with Minneapolis Parks and Rec gardener extraordinaire Teresa Grant. We then went back to our house for some backyard grilling and to enjoy the beautiful sunny day. We even busted out some chalk and played four square in our driveway.


New York, NY

Played sports and made arts & crafts with KEEN, providing recreational opportunities for children and young adults with developmental and physical disabilities

Coordinator Shanika Gunaratna says: Today was beautiful! We volunteered with a local organization that provides fun activities for kids with special needs at no cost to their parents. We played basketball, jumped rope, choreographed an elaborate dance, built a palace and moat out of blocks, practiced pitching and hitting, made art, and ran races with an incredible group of kids who left us exhausted in the best way possible.

Afterwards we picnicked in Central Park, complete with bubbles, group spooning, and a loud shakedown. Our crew was a mix of people from different parts of Ty’s life at NU, so spending the day together was really special. I made two new friends. Happy CommuniTyler to all!


Omaha, NE

Cleaned up Lawrence Youngmann Lake

Coordinators Leslie Kwasnieski and Megan Falke say: We had pouring rain for a week leading up to CommuniTyler and our volunteer day was no different. But 31 awesome volunteers showed up to pick up trash at the city of Omaha’s Lawrence Youngman Lake. And they found a small mountain of trash to stuff into their giant garbage bags! We congratulated our hard work with some donated Jimmy John’s and Lagunitas.

Tyler would have been proud of us today. We made a difference and new friends. But most importantly we didn’t give up when the weather tried to hold us down. Thanks to everyone for their help, including the two new friends that showed up to help. Life is good!


San Francisco, CA

Cleaned up, restored and planted in beautiful Milagra Ridge, home to the mission blue butterfly

Coordinator Frank Bauch says: This year a strong contingent of 30+ volunteers returned to Milagra Ridge, just south of San Francisco to work with the great folks at Golden Gate Parks Conservancy. Milagra Ridge is a beautiful park just up the hill from the Pacific Ocean. It was used during the Cold War as a Nike missile station by the U.S. Army, and there are still remnants of its previous use today. However, since being passed on to the park system in 1987, Milagra Ridge has been the focus of intense restoration, in part to maintain the habitat of one of the endangered species that lives here: the mission blue butterfly.

Mission blue butterflies are weak fliers, so the taller, invasive plants can prevent them from moving between patches of healthy habitat. Our group was tasked with removing some of those invasive plants. Unlike last year when most of our work involved removing smaller invasive thistle, this year we found several larger groves of invasive species to remove, some of which were on steep hillsides and challenging terrain—it was hard work! But this group was eager to make a difference and spend time catching up with great friends. We spent some time afterwards with a few Lagunitas brews on the outskirts of the park before retreating for a backyard BBQ on a beautiful sunny afternoon.


Santa Barbara, CA

Beach clean-up on Goleta Beach near UCSB

Coordinator Jason Wien says: We had a small but strong event this year, featuring two first-time volunteers and two seasoned veterans. We walked along Goleta Beach (the most popular beach from the UCSB area) and picked up all sorts of random trash, even getting a shoutout from the lifeguard. It was amazing how differently people interacted with us, looking slightly official wearing blue gloves and carrying plastic trash bags. The experience really fostered a sense of community with each other and all the strangers we were helping by making the beach more beautiful!


Vancouver, BC

Completed trail maintenance for Squamish Access Society

Coordinators Ed Blunderfield and Thomas Lauer say: We spent the day performing trail maintenance for the Squamish Climbing Access Society. There were 15 of us in the group, and we had a ton of fun. Ed baked some delicious vegan muffins and we also had coffee, pizza and drinks for our volunteers. We worked for two and a half hours to clean the area around a new climbing crag. Then…we got to climb! There were even a few in our group who got to discover rock climbing for the first time.


York, PA

Details coming soon!

Coordinator: Asa Church