General Motors Corporation Receives International Habitat Conservation Award
2006-11-22 - BALTIMORE , MD —Employees at General Motors Corporation’s (GM) Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly received international recognition for their contributions to wildlife habitat conservation at the Wildlife Habitat Council’s (WHC) 18 th Annual Symposium, Connecting People & Nature. GM demonstrates its commitment to environmental stewardship and increasing native biodiversity by achieving habitat certification at the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center.
“At the Wildlife Habitat Council, we believe it is vital to improve approaches to the environment if our landscapes are to remain sustainable for future generations. As our organization moves forward into the global arena, we must involve more people in local initiatives to enhance open spaces,” said Robert Johnson, WHC President. “Developing this strong sense of place is the key to better connecting people to nature and ultimately the key to protecting nature. WHC members are leading the way and opening the doors to corporate habitats to educate and involve entire communities. Congratulations to GM for their exceptional efforts to responsibly manage our natural world.”
The Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly facility is an automotive final assembly plant located in an urban region of Michigan. Although a majority of the site is needed for industrial activities, the facility is committed to converting 16.5 acres of lawn area into a healthy and diverse wildlife habitat.
Detroit/Hamtramck personnel partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Pheasants Forever to develop a Project Work Plan. A Habitat Development Agreement was signed by GM and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to confirm both parties’ commitment to the program. The main goal of the project is to provide suitable habitat for migratory birds that prefer grassland habitat. Secondary benefits include education and gained environmental awareness through the enjoyable natural resource by company employees.
A seed mix of native warm season grasses and wildflowers was planted by Pheasants Forever. Although still in the developmental stages, the habitat areas already provide suitable food and shelter for insects, birds and small mammals. The wildflowers and grasses provide an excellent breeding ground for grasshoppers and similar insects, which in turn provides food for insectivorous birds. Ring-necked pheasants, barn swallows, American kestrels, red-tailed hawks, red-winged blackbirds and other species are readily observed on-site.
The Detroit/Hamtramck facility plans to continue its commitment to protect wildlife habitat as expressed in the Habitat Development Agreement. A bluebird nest box program is being considered as a future project.
Also receiving certification for the first time this year from the Wildlife Habitat Council is GM’s Lansing Delta Township Assembly Center. The Lansing Delta Township plant also won the coveted Rookie of the Year award, which goes to one newly certified program each year, and exemplifies a superior wildlife habitat program. GM has a total of 10 programs in the U.S. and Canada, representing 870 acres, certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council. For photos of the wildlife habitats at Lansing Delta Township and Detroit-Hamtramck, visit http://media.gm.com.
Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly was one of 175 sites recognized at the 2006 Symposium for creating a habitat program. Over 50 Corporate Lands for Learning SM programs now reach thousands of learners from schools and scout groups to master gardeners and university researchers. Since 1990, WHC has certified 408 programs worldwide. The certification program recognizes outstanding wildlife habitat management and environmental education efforts at corporate sites, and offers third-party validation of the benefits of such programs. Certification requirements are strict and require that sites apply for periodic renewal.
The Wildlife Habitat Council is a nonprofit, non-lobbying organization dedicated to increasing the quality and amount of wildlife habitat on corporate, private and public lands. WHC devotes its resources to building partnerships with corporations and conservation groups to create solutions that balance the demands of economic growth with the requirements of a healthy, biodiverse and sustainable environment. More than 2.4 million acres in 48 states, Puerto Rico and 16 other countries are managed for wildlife through WHC-assisted projects. For more information, visit WHC online at www.wildlifehc.org.
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