CSX became a sponsor of the Arbor Day Foundation through the company’s work with Alliance for Community Trees — a network of community-based organizations is dedicated to improving the livability of towns and cities through planting and caring for trees. Last fall, some of the Arbor Day Foundation staff met with CSX colleagues at one of the company’s service days that included planting trees in Philadelphia. Below is a guest post from a CSX employee who attended the service day.
My name is Robert Rohauer, and I’m proud to have over 27 years of service at CSX. I started on the railroad as brakeman and currently lead CSX’s team of Community Affairs and Safety managers across the eastern portion of our railroad. The Community Affairs and Safety team is the link between trains that run through 23 states and the community residents who live along either side of the tracks. We act as a liaison between the public and railroad operations and promote the message of public safety around railroad property.
To be successful in my job, it’s important to be a part of the communities where CSX operates. One of the formalized ways we engage locally is through company hosted service days – and I try to be a part of them whenever I can. Over the course of my career, I’ve been to so many CSX service days that I’ve lost count.
Last fall I brought my wife Laura, and daughters, Riley and Vanessa – to a CSX service day at Cook-Wissahickon Elementary School in Philadelphia. I chose to bring my family because we all enjoy volunteering and being a part of an event that helps the community. Laura and I feel that it is very important to raise our girls with volunteer principles, as this is one of the most powerful ways children can enrich their lives now and prepare for their future.
Together, our volunteer group planted 61 trees – 16 by the school and 45 by the nearby Wissahickon Creek. My family loved learning about the different types of trees, and how to properly plant them. While planting was hard work, being with family and co-workers made it fun. Vanessa added quite a few new shiny rocks to her collection.
This event was important because we successfully brought more greenery to the immediate area around the school, which the students, teachers and community volunteers were very pleased to see. It was great to experience everyone lending a hand, working shoulder to shoulder, making quick work of the large task at hand. The event organizers and arborists were extremely knowledgeable and provided great direction to ensure the highest level of success for the new trees. All in all, tree planting is always a fulfilling experience, because you know your work will be there for generations to come.
You may not know, but rail is the most fuel-efficient way to move freight over land. In fact, on average, trains are four times more fuel efficient than trucks. Being an environmentally sustainable transportation option and stewards of the planet is an important part of what CSX offers — and those values extend into our work in the community. In 2009, the company set a goal to plant one tree for every mile of track in the U.S. – and we reached it so quickly that we increased our goal to plant two trees for every mile. That’s a total of 42,000 trees by 2018 – and we’re more than 75% of the way there.
For me personally, working for a sustainable company and making a difference in the community is a rewarding and fulfilling career. I’m proud to be part of a transportation network that helps drive our economy. And I’m also proud to be a part of preserving our nation’s beautiful landscape and resources through planting trees. It is very important that we all do our part to take care of our planet through such things as recycling, water conservation, reducing waste, and planting trees, of course.