Celebrating the Planet
Producers find an assortment of ways to celebrate Earth Day and show how they nurture nature.
By Therese Dunphy, Editor-in-Chief, firstname.lastname@example.org
While NIMBY groups may not view aggregate operations as environmentally friendly, reality and perception are often miles apart. Many operators go well beyond regulatory requirements and strive to positively impact the sites they mine. On April 26, 2013, several operators celebrated Earth Day with a variety of environmentally friendly initiatives.
In Paulding, Ohio, Lafarge North America’s Paulding Cement plant mounted a bat shelter in one of its wildlife habitat areas. “As a site certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council, we make it a priority to be aware of the needs of our surrounding wildlife,” says Tim Weible, senior environmental manager at the Paulding plant.
According to Lafarge, many bat habitats in the area were being destroyed, leaving no place for bats to nest. “By installing a bat shelter on-site, we hope to attract more bats to the area and help restore the bat population by providing a safe place to roost,” Weible says. The site has multiple wildlife habitat areas on site, including grass plains, a lake, and wildflowers, to preserve a natural habitat for local wildlife and vegetation.
In Ontario, Canada, Dufferin Aggregates teamed up with more than 900 elementary age children, including Earth Rangers, to plant 10,000 native trees and shrubs at its sites throughout the province. Native vegetation such as the white pine, eastern white cedar, and sugar maple trees, as well as nannyberry, mulberry, and serviceberry shrubs were planted.
“Through partnerships with conservation organizations such as Earth Rangers, and initiatives like the tree planting in Paris, Dufferin Aggregates strives to be a good neighbor, responsible corporate citizen, and a steward of the natural environment,” says Kevin Mitchell, Dufferin Aggregates’ manager, environment and properties.
Earth Rangers is a kids-based conservation organization that focuses on educating children and families about biodiversity loss.
“Earth Rangers is proud of our national partnership with Dufferin Aggregates, and we respect their commitment to responsible development and the highest standards of land reclamation on their sites,” says Peter Kendall, executive director.
Through such activities, operators throughout North America show their communities that aggregate operators can be environmental advocates in their communities. At the same time, bringing community groups into the site helps to demystify what happens behind the gates and allows attendees to open a dialogue that may not otherwise begin with operators in their community.
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