The DuPont Fayetteville Works site has been recognized as a Signature of Sustainability Site by the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) for its employees' outstanding commitment to biodiversity and conservation education. The Fayetteville Works site was one of only 21 WHC-certified programs to receive this designation.
The Fayetteville Works site celebrated this prestigious designation on Thursday, August, 7, 2008, during the DuPont University Training Workshop. Attendees were given the opportunity to learn and observe how DuPont makes a positive environmental impact in the community in which they operate. The twenty-six educators in the workshop learned about skills and technology needed in today's workplace.
A Signature of Sustainability is a habitat program that demonstrates the potential of private sector involvement for biodiversity conservation and environmental education. Each Signature of Sustainability is unique, but all go above and beyond certification standards for Wildlife at Work SM. Programs were selected by a Blue Ribbon Committee of judges and were evaluated based on a ranking system with points given per level of involvement in focus areas, such as environmental education, habitat enhancement and community involvement.
"These Signatures of Sustainability make the communities around them a better place for both biodiversity and learners of all ages, and represent the very highest standards for a WHC program," said Robert Johnson, WHC President. "We hope the Signatures of Sustainability will inspire even greater engagement by companies in voluntary actions for the conservation of biodiversity."
"This is a great honor and a definite tribute to our volunteer wildlife team for their diligence in managing our wildlife habitat and for sharing what they've learned with the community," said Karen Wrigley, Fayetteville Works plant manager. "We appreciate this recognition and thank the WHC for viewing our program as a best practice. Fayetteville Works, and all of DuPont, place a high importance on environmental stewardship. It's an integral part of how we do business and we look forward to continuing to work with the community to maintain the health and beauty of our area's natural habitats."
The Fayetteville Works site volunteer wildlife team manages 2,187 acres of agricultural fields, mixed pine/hardwood forest, longleaf pine and bottomland hardwood forests for a variety of wildlife species.
The wildlife team implements forest management projects through controlled burns, regular woodland thinning and replanting when necessary. The longleaf pine restoration project began in 1992 and maintains a density of 400 stems per acre. In addition, the team installed and monitors nest boxes for bluebirds and wood ducks. A raptor perch was positioned beside one of the power transmission corridors to provide a hunting perch for resident birds of prey.
After many years of involvement and success in the Wild Turkey Restoration Program, the team now works with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission to capture wild turkeys for restoration in other habitats. The on-site wild turkey management program began with eleven hens, four jakes and two mature gobblers. The wild turkey population thrives, due in part to the availability of a constant food supply year-round. In winter months, oaks, beech, wax myrtle and persimmon provide adequate food for the resident population. Insects that abound in the open field habitats of the facility provide the diet for young broods. Wild turkey can also find ample mature trees for roosting scattered throughout the property. As part of community outreach, employees work with local schools often hosting site tours for local biology classes.
The Corporate Lands for LearningSM (CLL) program at the Fayetteville Works site engages community partners in numerous learning activities. Local schools participate in interactive nature walks on the property to identify flora and fauna. Students gain an understanding of how early settlers used the abundant natural resources in the area to survive. Items such as an old tar kiln and a hacked longleaf pine used to collect pine tar show the importance of the tree to the area. Entering into one of the more than 500 acres of longleaf pine plantations the wildlife team planted, participants see the native trees that made the area the largest producer of pine tar worldwide in the 1850s. Since longleaf pines are planted each year, participants see the different states of growth of these majestic trees. Even the ancient history of the site is included. A 2,000-year-old petrified tree stump is located on the trail, and its origin and importance are discussed. Students gain a true "sense of place" during these walks.
The DuPont University Training Workshop, presented by the wildlife team at Fayetteville Works, hosts about 45 teachers from three counties each year. Teaching professionals earn continuing education credits and learn environmental and physical science. Additionally, the wildlife team holds annual Earth Day celebrations and tree plantings. The team partners with the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust to educate the public about longleaf pine ecosystems, and shares data on bluebird nesting with the North Carolina Bluebird Society.
As part of WHC's 20th Anniversary celebration throughout 2008, several Signatures of Sustainability will be featured as part of a national media tour each month. Featured Signatures of Sustainability will host an educational workshop, environmental fair or other event for the local community to build awareness of these programs. More information is available on WHC's 20th Anniversary website www.wildlifehc.org/20years.
Celebrating 20 years in conservation, WHC 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, biologically diverse and sustainable environment. More than 2.4 million acres in 46 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and 16 other countries are managed for wildlife through WHC-assisted projects. To learn more, visit www.wildlifehc.org.