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Last Saturday was Airbnb’s inaugural Volunteer Day.

Among the committed teams around the nation was a gallant troupe of nine hosts and travelers in Austin, Texas. Little did they know how symbolic their day would end up being.

Austin has the reputation of being Texas’ offbeat capital of creativity. Home to a thriving arts community and the infamous South-by-Southwest festival, Austin thrives on fresh ideas.

As the Airbnb volunteer crew arrived at Zilker Botanical Garden, they began to realize that their day would mirror the creative process that lets Austin flourish.

The group started the day clearing out unwanted dead trees and foliage left over from the hot summer. The old trees cluttered the gardens, preventing fresh growth. Their roots ran deep, anchoring them firmly and obstructing access to the soil’s nutrients. Just like old, stale ideas and preconceptions, this dead wood stopped new life from flourishing.

The only answer was to work as a team. Under firm direction from the groundskeeper, the Austin crew hacked away the old trees.

That’s when things got fun. Once the skeletons of the dead trees were gone, the grounds could take new life. The team banded together to plant Mexican buckeyes, pecans, and laurels – ensuring that the garden would blossom again.

The gang loved the project. In planting trees, they felt that they were symbolically laying the foundation for successful Volunteer Days stretching well into the future. Their teamwork and creativity would bring joy and beauty to any visitor.

The team pledged to return to the garden next year to check on the progress of their trees, reflect on what they’ve created and learned, and renew their friendships.

Want to join them? They’d love it.

Stay creative. Always.