Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Arcelor partnering with Wildlife Habitat Council to plant trees on industrial sites

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Representatives from ArcelorMittal, the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC), and the U.S. Forest Service met at the steelmaker’s Global Research and Development facility in East Chicago this morning to plant 30 native trees--the first of more than 1,000 trees to be planted this year at coastal industrial facilities around Lake Michigan as part of the CommuniTree Program

The idea of the program: to expand Lake Michigan’s coastal habitats and reduce untreated runoff from urban watersheds.

This effort is supported by a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant from the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to the WHC.

Today’s 30 trees were planted in a unique dune and swale habitat located at the Global Research and Development facility, ArcelorMittal said, and included swamp white oaks, pin oaks, serviceberries, and hackberries. “These trees will provide valuable wildlife habitat valuable to local flora and fauna,” as well as “replace a former woodland stand of white ash trees killed by the invasive emerald ash borer beetle.”

“We are very excited to have an opportunity to enhance the natural areas on our property, and share what we’re learning with other industry in Northwest Indiana,” said Gregory Ludkovsky, vice president, ArcelorMittal Global Research and Development. “The team in East Chicago should be very proud for taking the initiative to collaborate with Wildlife Habitat Council and nearby companies. ArcelorMittal is known worldwide as an innovative supplier of steel products, but I believe we are also becoming known throughout Northwest Indiana as an innovator in relationship building.”

“More than ever before, industry is recognizing the vital role it can have in restoring land on its property,” said Daniel Goldfarb, senior manager, conservation partnerships, Wildlife Habitat Council. “These meetings and volunteer events bring together companies to share best practices, ideas and even frustrations with each other.”

The WHC’s mission is to promote and certify habitat conservation and management on corporate lands through partnerships and education, ArcelorMittal noted.

ArcelorMittal and the WHC have been partnering since 2010 with other local industries--including Praxair and Exxon Mobile--“to advance the discussion around habitat restoration.” Last year’s conservation “theme”: the removal of trees damaged by invasive species. This year’s the replacement of trees.

Conservation activities have included the restoration of over 40 acres of on-site dune and swale habitat and the development of an employee walking trail at ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor. That work resulted in the facility’s certification by WHC as a Corporate Lands for Learning site in 2013 and as a Wildlife at Work site in 2014.

 

Posted 5/5/2017

 
 
 
 

 

 

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