GM Canada Facilities Earn Wildlife Habitat Certification
OSHAWA, Ont. – General Motors of Canada’s St. Catharines Powertrain and Kapuskasing Test Centre facilities have been recognized by the Wildlife Habitat Council for enhancing biodiversity at their facilities and engaging community partners to promote wildlife conservation and education. The plants received a Wildlife at Work certification for Kapuskasing’s Cold Weather Development Centre and for St. Catharines Powertrain facility. The St. Catharines facility also received an award as a 2014 Community Partner of the Year Nominee for its partnership with Niagara College’s post-graduate Ecosystem Restoration course.
The Wildlife Habitat Council’s Wildlife at Work program provides a structure for corporate-driven cooperative efforts among management, employees and community members to create, conserve, and restore wildlife habitats on corporate lands.
The Kapuskasing’s Cold Weather Development Centre provides learning opportunities through hands-on learning in a natural environment, and plays a significant role in the biodiversity conservation of the region. Through invasive species monitoring, wildlife observation cards, and monitoring the lagoon, significant progress towards this mission has been achieved. Conducting a thorough wildlife inventory of the site is a priority of the Cold Weather Development Centre Wildlife Team, as it helps familiarize its members with the plants, animals, and habitats found at the site. The wildlife inventory is an ongoing process that provides useful information to the Cold Weather Development Centre Wildlife at Work program and any future outreach and education projects. Currently, ongoing recycling projects at the Cold Weather Development Centre are striving for landfill-free status.
The St. Catharines Powertrain facility partnered with Niagara College Ecosystem Restoration students to develop and implement various habitat enhancements while providing a learning platform for the students. Niagara College, John Marshall Public School and Ridgeway-Crystal Beach High School helped with various tasks in project areas. Activities included building bird boxes, floating islands, pollinator gardens, solitary bees’ nests, habitat debris structures, and observational trails. Other initiatives included clearing invasive plants and replacing with native plants, upgrading meadow soil using compost generated from the plant cafeteria, collecting seeds from native plants and producing seedlings in the Niagara College green house for planting in the native species pollinator gardens, and constructing bat houses from Chevy Volt battery boxes.
“Our habitat program provides significant benefits to the environment and the dedicated employees who manage it,” said Doug Yates, Environment and Energy Director, General Motors of Canada. “It also serves as an outdoor classroom to educate youth and the community on the importance of conservation.”
St. Catharines Powertrain and Kapuskasing Test Centre are two of 40 GM facilities around the world with conservation programs certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council including other Canadian sites of CAMI Assembly, Oshawa Assembly, and GMCL’s McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve. GM has more certifications than any other automaker and has committed to creating and securing wildlife habitat certifications or equivalent at all of its manufacturing sites globally by 2020.
The company actively manages nearly 5,000 acres of wildlife habitat globally, representing 22 percent of the certified sites’ overall footprint.
Additionally, employees from the St. Catharines Powertrain and Kapuskasing Test Centre facilities team up with community partner organizations and neighbourhood schools to teach students about assessing water quality through the GM Global Rivers Environmental Education Network (GREEN) program.
About General Motors in Canada
Headquartered in Oshawa, Ontario, General Motors of Canada Limited (GMCL) employs more than 9,000 people across the country and is a recognized leader in green manufacturing. GMCL markets the full range of fuel-efficient Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles and related services through Canada’s largest automotive dealer network. More information regarding GMCL models can be found at www.gm.ca, or by following @GMCanada on Twitter.