Ashland Receives Four Habitat Conservation Certifications
Ashland was recognized for contributions to environmental conservation and wildlife habitat preservation by the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC).
At the 2019 WHC Conservation Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, Ashland received four Conservation Certifications®. WHC’s certification program recognizes commendable wildlife habitat management and environmental educational program at individual sites. It also provides third-party credibility and an objective evaluation to help companies demonstrate a voluntary long-term commitment to managing quality habitat for wildlife, conservation education, and community outreach initiatives. The following certifications were received:
|Old York Road||Burlington, NJ||silver|
|Former Brunswick Plant||Brunswick, GA||certified|
|009 Landfill||Brunswick, GA||certified|
For 30 years, WHC has been promoting and certifying habitat conservation and management on corporate lands through partnerships and education. WHC Conservation Certification® currently recognizes 700 corporate conservation programs in 47 states and 28 countries.
At this site, Ashland employees have been involved since 2014 with Wildlife at Work (WAW), a Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) program. Together, we have restored the habitat around a closed landfill (2.3 acres) and installed nesting sites for birds. We also assist in annual monitoring to continue to maintain habitat and promote nesting.
Since restoration of the landfill and surrounding area, significant improvements have occurred in vegetation, and avian and mammalian species. Over 1,000 individual birds from nearly 50 species have been documented using the grassland habitat including species listed on Delaware’s Wildlife Species of Greatest Conservation Need list.
WHC recently highlighted the success of this project in their 2019 “Birds: Nature’s Key Performance Indicators” Report, which focus on the importance of avian habitat.
We are currently discussing potential expansion of this WAW program at this site. The first expansion program will be a pollinator garden and native plant meadow to be completed by the end of 2020.
Old York Road
This site was formerly a landfill. Employees at Ashland partner with Rutgers University and the site serves as a learning lab for students in the sciences to track species’ diversity and life cycles of native species and fauna while earning experience credits toward their degree. One of the key features of the program is students monitor several species of bats by documenting their use of the site as feeding and nesting grounds. These surveys are completed by bat house monitoring and tracking their unique echo radar signatures through acoustical survey monitoring equipment. These surveys have documented several species of bats that continually utilize the site to feed on insects. Another important feature that was incorporated into the remedy design was the use of native area grasses and other plantings to promote local species and wildlife habitats. These features limit the maintenance requirements of the landfill cap thereby reducing the annual operations and maintenance expenditures.
Former Brunswick Plant
Ashland achieved certification in the WHC WAW program for this facility in 2014. The project is centered around a 2.85-acre former stockpile area that was converted to a wildflower meadow providing critical habitat to a variety of wildlife species, including pollinators, grassland birds, reptiles, and small mammals. Since the initial certification, the project has expanded to include additional forest habitat and installation of nesting sites for birds. Species inventories are conducted routinely, and the habitat is maintained thru rotational mowing and removal of invasive vegetation.
Ashland achieved certification in the WHC WAW program for this closed landfill in 2015 with goals to increase the site’s biological diversity, bolster community relations, and raise environmental awareness in the community. Cover boards and basking logs around the perimeter of a large pond are maintained and monitored through routine species inventories. Game cameras are also used to monitor the wildlife that inhabit the site.
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