ALPENA - Lafarge North America understands the importance of protecting, preserving and reclaiming the environment affected by its operations, and continues to take the lead on different green projects.
Today Lafarge will host a special ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Lafarge Pollenator Garden on Ford Avenue. The garden will feature a wide variety of native plans and flowers and will also offer up protection and food for butterflies.
Lafarge Environmental Intern Emily Baker said Lafarge understands the impact its plant has on wildlife and has made it part of its mission to protect it and help it grow. She said the garden is like a park, which will be open to the public to enjoy.
"This is something Lafarge wanted to do for the community and the other plants are doing as well," Baker said. "We're trying to bring back some of the natural habitat, because we do have an impact on the environment. Anything we can do to help restore it of course we want to do."
The garden will feature plants and flowers, some of which are in boxes and some of which are in the ground, and each has information provided to educate those who visit it.
"We have a total of 17 boxes each with a different flower or plant, and each has a sign with information about it," Baker said. "We have put a rainwater collection system in to keep the plants watered, and there is also a circle garden with bigger plants which won't fit into the boxes. We would like as many people to visit the garden as possible, especially children, because it is geared to be educational. It is open to the public to walk through, ride bikes, or sit at the picnic table for a picnic. Our intentions are to have people use and enjoy the garden as much as they want. We plan to continue to expand it every year, because we have a lot of room on the land to grow it."
What: Lafarge Pollenator Garden ribbon-cutting
When: Today, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Where: Ford Avenue
The garden will also serve as a habitat for the monarch butterfly. Baker said while planning the garden, it was decided that it should be able to provide the necessary needs to the species to help it thrive.
"We have become a monarch weigh station through the organization "Monarch Watch," which is a certified group," Baker said. "The garden will have plants which produce nectar for food and shelter and protection of the butterflies and everything they need in their life cycle."
The ribbon-cutting will begin at 5:30 p.m. and end at about 7:30 p.m. today and refreshments will be available.
Steve Schulwitz can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5689.