Primary contact: Certification Department Organization: General Motors Company
The Fairfax Assembly and Stamping Plant is a 580-acre property located in Kansas City, Kansas. The General Motors Company acquired the property in 1987 and now uses it for car assembly. The site is mostly covered by turf lawn with some tree and shrub cover. The surrounding area consists of commercial and industrial development, as well as undeveloped fields, some of which is used for soybean farming. The Missouri River borders the site to the north and east. Roughly 20 on-site employees are involved with wildlife habitat enhancement efforts, earning the program certification in 2015. Starting in April of 2013, the team enlisted the help of True North Outdoor in the installation of a large garden of native plants adjacent to the main entrance of the site’s administration building. The team incorporated numerous beneficial native plants including prairie dropseed, purple coneflower, mountain mint, showy goldenrod, pin oak, showy milkweed and spider milkweed. The dense coverage of these beneficial species provides food and cover for birds and insects, including the iconic monarch butterfly, which the team is targeting with the milkweed species. With the help of consultants from Applied Ecological Services, the team continues to take steps to improve the establishment of the milkweed species, which has struggled in the wet conditions of the garden. The team has already removed the drip irrigation system from the garden are is considering planting other milkweed varieties that are more tolerant of moist soils. In July of 2013, the team conducted a site inventory for invasive plant species could compete with native plants and reduce the benefits of their native garden. They now frequently weed the garden by hand as an alternative to harmful chemical approaches, removing species such as knotweed, bindweed, prickly lettuce and horse weed. To celebrate Earth Day in April of 2014, the team hosted a nest box building event for students from Douglass Elementary and installed one of the boxes in the garden to provide a cavity nest location for songbirds. The response to the garden has been overwhelmingly positive and employees are already planning to install similar gardens elsewhere on the property. The team is also considering expanding their nest box project.
Primary contact: Certification Department Organization: Continental Cement Company
The Continental Cement Company’s Hannibal, Missouri site is located in Hannibal, Missouri, which is approximately 100 miles northwest of St. Louis. The site’s educational program seeks to provide an educational program for students from local schools that emphasizes geological formations, provides areas for habitat education, and increase the understanding of environmental chemistry. The program was first certified in 2015. Several local schools bring students to the site for field trips throughout the year. Third and fourth graders learned about the importance of not disrupting caves because of the White Nose epidemic that is disseminating bat populations. Class trips also typically learn about fossils, the adaptations of prehistoric plants, rock formations, and sedimentary rock. A high school ecology teacher also visited the site and helped develop a curriculum for a bird study. Her class later visited to perform a bird identification lab. Several universities have also been involved with the site. A student from Northwest Missouri State University visited the site in 2014 and identified as many plans as possible for an assignment for his botany course. The earth sciences class from Hannibal LaGrange University also visited the site to learn about fossils and how prehistoric organisms might have evolved. These students were also able to dig for fossils in the site’s quarry using a fossil identification guide. Additional a chemistry class from John Wood Community College toured the plan and learned about the site’s fuels and cements lab. Finally, biochemistry majors from Culver-Stockton College discussed the sites environmental sustainability and completed write ups on their visit.
Primary contact: Certification Department Organization: General Motors Company
General Motors Company’s Rosario Plant is located in Santa Fe, Argentina. The site’s Natural Protective Area, where the educational activities take place, consists of approximately 7000 square meters that stretch along the south boundary of the Rosario Plant manufacturing site. The Habitat consists of native prairie, a channel and a woodland area that allows visitors to experience different types of habitat and observe how they interact. The site’s educational program seeks to provide educational opportunities, from environmental conservation, to manufacturing sustainability, which extend beyond classroom study with hands-on experience. Rosario Plant has established a trail network throughout the habitat that includes informational signs about the native flora and fauna on site, a bird watching area, several observation points, a compost area for organic wastes, educational points of interest, and a gathering area for visitors to sit and observe the habitat—made up of a circle of recycled materials such as pallets, cable rails, overlooking the Natural Area . This area is known as the Eco Island. Students also participated in the trail construction by constructing the nest boxes. They learned about different migratory bird nesting habits and how placement of nest boxes attracts certain species. Rosario Plant’s tours with high school and University students have been really successful and known in the area. In 2014, 67 students from public schools and Engineering classes from 3 local Universities visited the site. Before each tour, environmental lectures with themes regarding to sustainability, nature preservation, waste segregation, natural resources conservation, and green fields preservation are presented. Employees and community members also toured and explored the habitat, both in groups and independently, to conduct species inventory and discuss management techniques. The team has also focused on outreach events to disseminate sustainability concepts. Events use the native plant areas where students are able to see nature and participate in activities, such as lectures and tree planting. Viewing sustainability initiatives captures the interest of school children during visits, while promoting ideas of wildlife conservation elsewhere in the community. Rosario is currently implementing a new visit area which can be used for ecological hiking so the students can learn more about the local fauna and flora facts. In the future they plan to add at least one educational video focusing on environmental care and wildlife. They will also work with a University professor to develop a guide with labeled photos to help identify the native and invasive plants.
Primary contact: Certification Department Organization: Vulcan Materials Company
Pilarcitos Quarry is a nearly 600-acre aggregate mining facility located in Half Moon Bay, California. The site was acquired by Vulcan Materials Company in 2015, the same year in which Pilarcitos Quarry achieved certification. A dedicated team of employees and volunteers manages approximately one-third of the property for wildlife habitat. A diversity of habitats span the site, including red alder forest, eucalyptus groves, coyote brush scrub, Douglas fir forest, poison oak scrub, arroyo willow thickets, ruderal vegetation, and aquatic habitats. While the main use of the property is granite mining, the area in which habitat projects are located is under a conservation easement. The team at Pilarcitos works to maintain several habitat projects; some efforts are necessary for mitigation purposes, including the construction and upkeep of two ponds that provide viable breeding habitat for the federally threatened California red-legged frog. Other endeavors are voluntary and exceed requirements. One voluntary project is dedicated to preserving and enhancing existing roosting habitat for the Townsend’s big-eared bat. This species of bat is threatened by habitat loss, human disturbance and destruction of roost sites. In 2012, the team first observed Townsend’s big eared bats on site in an abandoned cabin and old barn. After conferring with WRA Environmental Consultants, the Wildlife Habitat Council, and bat experts, the team decided to keep these structures intact in order to maintain them as bat habitat. A WRA biologist began monitoring these sites on a bi-annual basis, and continues to observe the bats in these locations. In addition to biological monitoring of individuals, Vulcan Materials Company also plans to soon begin monitoring of the physical, atmospheric conditions of the structures. The team at Pilarcitos also makes efforts to provide habitat and population monitoring for local herpetofauna, specifically the San Francisco garter snake. Snake boards have historically been placed in the conservation easement to informally monitor populations. Recently, this project has developed into a more formal endeavor with monitoring taking place twice each year.
Primary contact: Certification Department Organization: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.
Certified in 2015, the Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. - Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas (TMMTX) site is located on 2,000 acres in San Antonio, Texas. Originally 2,700 acres, 700 acres of undeveloped riparian habitat were donated to the City of San Antonio and is now maintained as the Medina River Natural Area. Purchased in 2002, TMMTX is currently used for manufacturing light duty trucks like the Tacoma and Tundra, however, before 2006 TMMTX was used for agriculture purposes. The areas surrounding TMMTX is rural. The site is bordered by the Medina River and Leon Creek, which offer natural areas and various habitats for wildlife and to the northeast, is Mitchell Lake, which expands approximately 600 acres. This site actively manages 185 acres and has 1,300 unmanaged acres open to wildlife. The team at TMMTX has been implementing a feral hog trapping program in conjunction with local trappers. This program has set up nine large traps that are maintained and monitored on a daily basis. After capture the feral hogs are removed from the site. This project has seen consecutively fewer feral hogs captured every year after its start. In 2014 the team saw a 50-50 ratio of male to female feral hogs captured with a total of 95 feral hogs captured in 2014. By removing this aggressive invasive species from the property, wildlife can flourish without being out competed for resources. The team has also constructed a pollinator garden with many native plants such as esperanza yellow bells, redflower yucca, and lantana species. This garden is a key habitat for many native pollinators. For the past nine years the team and other employees of TMMTX have participated in the National Public Lands Day at the Mitchell Lake Audubon Center. Volunteers help with everything from general cleanup to planting a river walk flower bed. Future plans for the site include the removal of invasive mesquite, and the creation of artificial nesting structures for birds and roosting structures for pollinators.
Primary contact: Certification Department Organization: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.
Toyota - Bodine Aluminum, Inc. is a site within the Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. Company that is located in Jackson, Tennessee. The site is comprised of 200 acres, 11 of which are used for wildlife habitat. The habitats on site consist of grasslands, wetland areas, and forests. The site was first certified in 2015 and consists of a pollinator garden. The pollinator garden was first constructed in 2014 and consists exclusively of native plants. To the south of the garden is a retention pond that provides an area for the butterflies and other pollinators to drink. Invasive species are controlled by spraying Round-Up before planting and after tilling. In the future, the team plans to plant another pollinator garden by the entrance of the site.
Primary contact: Certification Department Organization: Titan America LLC
Titan America LLC’s Bristol, Virginia Terminal is a 3-acre facility located inside the Bristol Virginia City limits that includes a front office, a rail unloading building, and a small parking lot. The facility also includes a landscaped pollinator garden and a freshwater stream named Little Creek. The team at Bristol, Virginia Terminal actively manages 0.75 acres for wildlife habitat which was first certified in 2015 by the Wildlife Habitat Council. In April of 2014, the team conducted their first stream clean-up of Little Creek. Trash and debris washes downstream during flood events, requiring the team to constantly monitor for build-up. In 2014, the team monitored at least twice a month and debris was removed on six different occasions. Monitoring and removal continues through 2015. Five songbird nest boxes were installed on-site in March of 2014 to attract native species like the eastern bluebird. In May, the team began actively monitoring the boxes during the nesting season. While birds like tree swallows, eastern bluebirds, and blue jays were observed on-site, there was no use of the nest boxes in 2014. Some nesting activity was observed in the beginning of 2015, and the team is hopeful that the boxes will be used this year. To support the bird population, the team also planted inkberry and winterberry. These two native plants produce berries that many bird species use as a food resource during winter months.
Primary contact: Certification Department Organization: Hamm
The Hamm Sanitary Landfill is a site within the Summit Materials Company and Hamm subsidiary that is located in northeastern Kansas in the town Perry, Kansas. It was formally purchased in the early 1990’s by Hamm and is surrounded by rural and farm production areas. The site is 570 acres, 43 of which are actively managed for wildlife habitats. The main habitats found on the property include grasslands, forests, and wetlands. There are also three separate ponds on the property, each with its own unique features, ranging from duck habitat, an established vegetation border, and healthy cattail habitats. The program was first certified in 2015. The team utilizes various partnerships to ensure quality habitat management standards such as Lawrence High School, Perry High School, Foresters, Inc., Blackstone Environmental, Grass by Design, Westar Green Team, and the Kansas Dept. of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism. Each of these partnerships help with at least one of the four projects that are in place: a planting project, a pond project, a nesting project, and a trail maintenance project. The planting project began in 2011. The vegetation is taken care of in various yearly/biyearly activities and one new activity. Yearly activities include spreading native and quick growing grass seed each year before the last snow, hosting a yearly tree planting day, and monitoring the area for noxious weeds and spraying accordingly. Biyearly activities include monitoring the trees and the grasses as well as consulting with Grass by Design to get more information on how to better allow for establishment/succession of native grasses/wildflowers. In 2015, this project expanded by creating an overwintering shelter for bees and their larvae. The pond project began in July 2014 and deals with all three of the ponds on the site’s property. The water quality is visually monitored on a weekly basis to ensure a healthy habitat. The ponds are also regularly maintained, with the ponds being excavated, enlarged, brush piles added, and dams built. The nesting project began in 2014 when various artificial nests were installed along the property, including wood duck boxes, goose nests, and kestrel/owl boxes. A local high school also built a falcon condo for the site that was installed recently. The trail maintenance project began in 2014. Three separate trails were created and are maintained with mowing twice a year.
Primary contact: Certification Department Organization: Shell Oil Company
The Shell Albian Sands site is located in northeastern Alberta, Canada north of Fort McMurray. The region consists of dry, upland deciduous and coniferous forests as well as shrub and graminoid wetlands and poorly drained fens and bogs. Shell Canada Energy, a subsidiary of the Shell Oil Company has operated on the site since 1977 and currently conducts oil sands mining. Shell Canada Energy constructed Jackpine Lake on the site in 2010 to offset the loss of fish habitat associated with mining operations. The 117-acre lake sits adjacent to the Muskeg River in a reclaimed area that will be permanently dedicated to wildlife. The team, which consists of about 14 employees and several seasonal interns, focus their wildlife management activities on the southern shore of Jackpine Lake as well as the North East Overburden Disposal Area (NEODA), located just to the west of the lake across the Muskeg River. The site became in 2015. In 2011, the team installed 22 raptor perches next to Jackpine Lake and on NEODA. The perches are made by inverting and staking dead jack pine trees into the ground, using the root balls as the perch. The team checks the perches regularly and records the presence of indicators of use by raptors, such as the owl pellets, small mammal carcasses, whitewash (feces), or a perching bird itself. So far, the perches have been used by merlins, bald eagles, northern harriers, and boreal owls. The team is using their data to determine how effective the inverted tree technique is and which locations are ideal for attracting raptors. The team also conducts diurnal raptor surveys around the site to document the general presence of raptor species. In May 2014, the team refurbished and relocated 36 tree swallow nest boxes along Jackpine Lake after they were used for research projects conducted by the University of Calgary and Environment Canada. They regularly monitor these boxes for the presence of tree swallows and document their reproductive success. This year, the team is also evaluating where to place nest cups to provide shelter for threatened barn swallows. There are also six bat boxes on the site that the team built using designs from the Organization for Bat Conservation. In April of 2013, the team placed the boxes strategically to determine how their proximity to wooded areas and water affect their use. Once a year, the team also uses autonomous recording units to identify which species of bats are foraging on the property. Thus far they have positively identified little brown bats and eastern red bats and suspect other species reside on the site as well. Each year, the team also surveys the property for invasive plant species, which employees can identify with the help of creative “wanted” posters. The team either removes by hand or sprays invasive plants such as scentless chamomile, common tansy, Canada thistle, and ox-eye daisy. In 2009, Shell Canada Energy joined the Oil Sands Vegetation cooperative, a partnership with other local energy companies to propagate native plants to be used for reclamation activities. They are also currently evaluating methods for introducing ratroot, a native aquatic species that is an important food source for local wildlife. Shell Canada Energy also encourages their employees to report incidental wildlife sighting to their Environmental Department to facilitate their broader efforts to mitigate the impacts of oil sands development and reduce human-wildlife conflict. This year, they are transitioning to a new system called WildWatch to make data entry and species identification easier.
Primary contact: Certification Department Organization: Ricoh Americas Corporation
Ricoh Americas Corporation has a strong record of environmental responsibility, and the West Caldwell Office site serves as a fine example of this long-standing commitment. This West Caldwell, New Jersey property was acquired by Ricoh Americas in 1983, and was used as the company’s North American headquarters until recently. Today, it is still one of the major business operation offices in North America. In addition to the office building, the 17.5-acre site mainly consists of artificially landscaped lawn areas; there is also a wet depressed area currently lined with shrubby vegetation and phragmites. The area surrounding the property is largely developed for light industrial, commercial, and residential use. The site was certified for its program in 2015, in large part due to the efforts of a dedicated team of employees focused on creating a viable pollinator habitat. The on-site team, comprised of five employees from Human Resources, the West Caldwell Diversity and Social Responsibility Council, Office Services, and the Environmental Team, began planning their habitat project in the summer of 2013. The goal was to create pollinator and rain gardens exclusively with native plants. While the main focus was to be ensuring sustainable pollinator habitat, a portion of the planted area also would serve as a rain garden, designed to improve water quality in stormwater runoff as well as decrease erosion and flooding. The team conducted research and consulted with experts – including Wildlife Habitat Council biologists and a corporate landscaper – to ensure the plants would not only support pollinator species, but also be successful within the site’s environmental conditions. After locations were designated and prepared by the landscaper, the team recruited employees to assist on planting day. 22 employee volunteers joined the core team to help kick off the project in November of 2013; the group planted five gardens on approximately 900 square feet of the site. Two local nurseries provided a wide variety of native plant species, including fox sedge, lady fern, winterberry, cardinal flower, purple cornflower, and sundial lupine. The first blooms appeared in the early summer of 2014 and continued throughout that initial season, as well as the most recent growing season in 2015. The team works hard to monitor and maintain the gardens through weeding, watering, and recording observations. They also evaluate the project for potential areas of improvement, and plant additional native flora to further enrich the gardens and replace plants that did not survive. The team engages with other site employees by offering volunteer opportunities to monitor the gardens, and also recently hosted a native plant giveaway event in conjunction with National Pollinator Week 2015. West Caldwell employees are eager to enhance the habitat, and have several ideas for the future. The team aims to expand the gardens in other areas around the property, and is also looking into potentially removing the invasive phragmites from the southwest corner of the site. The team recently connected with Dr. Jan Zientek, a local beekeeper and professor at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey; Dr. Zientek will be a guest lecturer at an upcoming “lunch and learn” session on site. The team plans to encourage greater community involvement in the project, and aspires to serve as a model for other Ricoh Americas Corporation sites.
Primary contact: Certification Department Organization: Oldcastle Materials
The Odessa Concrete Plant is located in the town of Odessa in central Florida, about 50 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. It has been owned and operated by Preferred Materials, Inc. of Oldcastle Materials for concrete production since 2007. The property consists of about 15 acres of coastal lowlands and is bordered to the north end by a large cypress swamp. Prior to development, the land supported livestock grazing. Currently, the site features several stormwater management ponds, grassland habitat, and a pollinator garden which is the primary project being managed by the sites team. Through this project, the team earned earned certification for the first time in 2015. The team initiated the pollinator garden project in March 2014 by installing an irrigation system and grading the land near an existing pond to create habitat for wetland as well as upland plants. They then mulched the area in preparation for planting. The Native Plant Society facilitated the project by providing lists of native plants that could survive under the different moisture regimes provided by the project. In June 2014, the team planted approximately 70 native flowering plant species around the pond. The team records the health of the garden as well as the presence of pollinating insects and other wildlife species at least twice a month. After one growing season and one winter, the target species are doing well, and sightings of monarch butterflies, bees, dragonflies, sandhill cranes, herons, sandpipers, and alligators are frequent. The team continues to battle persistent weedy species in the garden. The team is considering expanding their plantings into the grassy areas on the southern end of the property to create large wildflower meadows. They are also considering locations for installing bird boxes.
Primary contact: Certification Department Organization: Occidental Petroleum Corporation
First certified in 2015, the Occidental Petroleum Corporation, Glenn Springs Holdings, Inc. – Columbia Site is located in Columbia, Tennessee, roughly 45 miles outside of Nashville, and surrounded by farmlands and rural homes. The Columbia Site has halted production on the site and is focusing on waste stabilization, water quality, and land reclamation. The team actively manages 720 acres for wildlife and has another 30 acres available to wildlife. The team currently works on managing invasive species like kudzu, chickenweed, japanese knotweed, and privet. Management is conducted by the team using herbicides. The application of herbicide and its’ success is monitored with reapplication or a change in herbicide as needed. The team is also working on a number of projects that will be completed in the future. These projects include building and installing bluebird houses with the help of the Boy Scouts, installing wood duck boxes, and building bee houses. The team will also complete a pollinator garden and wildflower meadow in the near future.
Primary contact: Certification Department Organization: Motorola Solutions, Inc.
The Motorola Solutions, Inc. (MSI) NGTF Habitat comprises 1.7 acres of a 3.2-acre groundwater treatment facility located in urban Scottsdale, Arizona, and was first certified under in 2015. Historically, this parcel of land was unmaintained, vacant land covered with scrub brush and debris from illegal dumping. When MSI purchased the parcel in 2011 for the construction of a groundwater treatment facility, they saw the opportunity to restore and manage half of the parcel as a wildlife habitat area. Projects that restore wildlife habitat value can be particularly valuable in a highly urbanized area like Scottsdale, where high quality habitat for pollinators and other native species is scarce. The MSI team started by cleaning up the site and identifying any healthy, native trees they could be salvage and transplant into the habitat after construction. Once construction of the treatment facility was complete in 2013, the team began to establish the entire remaining 1.7 acres of the property as healthy native habitat designed to attract local pollinators and wildlife. The team developed the design for the habitat in close partnership with local experts at the City of Scottsdale, Master Gardeners, local nurseries, and environmental consultants. The MSI team planted the salvaged native mesquite trees in the habitat along with a wide variety of other native, drought-tolerant plant species in 2013. Many of the selected species, such as the chuparosa, globe mallow, and mesquite are host plants for butterfly caterpillars; others provide habitat for native bees, such as the prickly-pear cactus for cactus bee, and creosote for the digger bee. The team has observed many different species of wildlife in the garden since its installation, including pollinators such as the marine blue, Mexican amberwing, and Anna’s hummingbird; the habitat is home to other wildlife as well, such as the ornate tree lizard and round-tailed squirrel. The team visits the site frequently to monitor the health and growth of the new plantings, control any non-native invasive weeds, and to add new plants. The team uses Integrated Pest Management to manage insect pests and weeds using the least harmful techniques possible. For example, the team consulted with a local nursery to determine the best way to control aphid and spittlebug infestations on some of the native plants in the garden, and elected to use ladybugs as a means of biological control. The MSI team has also been active in engaging the local community in the design and use of the habitat. For example, they installed a pathway across the site to encourage local residents to access the habitat area, and to provide access to the nearby Arizona Canal pathway, which is a popular recreational trail in the area. The team even engaged a local artist to create art installations for the garden using recycled materials, and registered the site to be featured as part of a local public art tour in spring 2015 so that local residents could view the new artwork. The NGTF Habitat therefore serves not only as high quality habitat for local wildlife, but also as an important educational and recreational resource for the residents of Scottsdale.
Primary contact: Certification Department Organization: Monsanto Company
First certified in 2015, the Monsanto Company, Monsanto Hawaii, Molokai Site is located in Kaunakakai, Hawaii. The Molokai Site is on the island of Molokaʻi off of Kamehameha V Highway. The Molokai Site is a used for corn seed production and has just under 5 acres actively managed for wildlife and 1,238-acres available to wildlife. The team at the Molokai Site started a native plant restoration project in 2010. This project has planted over 1200 native trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants on the site including two federally endangered species the oʻahu white hibiscus, Hibiscus arnottianus and the maʻo hau hele, Hibiscus brackenridgei. In the future the team will conduct invasive species control on axis deer. These control measures are in conjunction with the US Department of Agriculture and the Natural Resource Conservation Service. The will also conduct invasive plant removal, with a goal of safely and effectively removing invasive plant species. The team will start by removing koa haole trees that are within a stand of wiliwili on the property.
Primary contact: Certification Department Organization: Kinder Morgan
The Kinder Morgan, Kinder Morgan Port Sutton Terminals, LLC, Hartford Street Terminal site sits on a 89-acre parcel of land located around two miles from the Hillsborough Bay in Tampa, Florida. Kinder Morgan acquired the Hartford Street Terminal site in 2003, and has partnered with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to remediate the site. Prior to the ownership by Kinder Morgan, the Hartford Street Terminal site was a fertilizer manufacturing facility. Since the acquisition of this site, it has been used for bulk material storage and transfer and no manufacturing takes place on the site. The team, made up of seven employees, manages approximately six and a half acres as wildlife habitat. The program was first certified in 2015. The Pollinator Forage Enhancement project began January of 2013. The goal of this project is to provide pollinator foraging areas with native vegetation. The area was formerly covered with invasive exotic species like the Brazilian pepper, castor bean, and Australian pine. Using mechanical means and herbicide, now less than one percent of plants in the wildlife managed are exotic. Native species are now planted in the area; these include an over story of tulip poplar, red maple and costal-plain willow along with a dense understory of star-rush, Florida tickseed, sweetscent and others.