Giving back is a major priority at Walden Environmental Engineering. We are passionate about improving the environment and enhancing the well-being of the communities in which we live and work; therefore, Walden strives to devote volunteer time to make contributions to the community. Each year, to commemorate Walden’s formation on May 19, 1995, Walden takes a day away from work to perform a day of service to give back to the community.  Previous years are highlighted with the following: 

Walden Day 2019: The Book Fairies

Walden Day 2018: Mary Brennan INN


This year’s effort was affectionately called, “Walden Desks 2020”.  Walden built 25 student desks from scratch (to represent the 25-year anniversary at Walden) to be used by students in the Oyster Bay and Hudson Valley areas.  With so much remote learning and studying forced away from the traditional classroom, these engineer-influenced desks were targeted to provide help to students in their studies outside of school. Elementary, Middle School and High School size desks were designed and assembled with sturdiness and functionality in mind. Once the desks were built, the Walden team sanded, primed and painted each desk with care in a variety of different colors. 

Walden and our clients benefit from a strong education system, but many students need help right now.  Even after the pandemic challenge has passed, these desks will continue to help more vulnerable students stay in the game and succeed with their academic goals.”  Joseph M. Heaney III, P.E., Principal of Walden 

A majority of the desks were delivered to the local Boys & Girls Club.  Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) is a national organization of local chapters which provide voluntary after-school programs for young people.  Before the desks were delivered The Book Fairies provided several books for each desk. 

At the same time, desks were provided to the Wappingers Central School District at their James S. Evans Elementary School in Wappingers Falls, New York.  Leadership at the school indicated that the desks went to appreciative homes and are certain to become an important part of their learning success. 

“We enjoyed the experience of designing, building and painting these desks for students that we may never meet.  Because we are engineers, our curiosity forced us to calculate the load strength of our work.  We estimate that each desk will hold almost 5,000 pounds which is certainly enough for even the heaviest homework night!”  Thomas T. (Ted) Nitza, Jr., P.E., VP/Senior Project Manager

Workshop space for the social distant building activities was donated by iPark East Fishkill – home of Walden’s Hudson Valley Office. Painting activities took over the entire Walden parking lot at the headquarters office in Oyster Bay. 

Walden is not shy or possessive about this effort or the planning, design, material lists, assembly jigs and other helpful hints we learned along the way.  If you want to plan your own “Student Desks 2020” event to build your own desks to help students in your community – don’t hesitate to contact us for whatever we can provide as a head start. 

If you are from a not-for profit and looking for a group of volunteers, please contact Walden Environmental Engineering to discuss further. We are always looking for the next local organization that can benefit from our time and expertise whenever possible.