When you think of gas stations, native plants and flowers don’t naturally come to mind. But with the help of Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC), one company decided to change that.
As part of their commitment to environmental stewardship, Phillips 66 created a habitat and conservation initiative to support their employees, communities, operating facilities and branded stations across the country in updating their landscaping with native plants.
The company engaged the conservation experts at WHC to create customized native landscaping guides for gas stations across the U.S. Each of the guides contains recommended landscaping projects based on the native plants and animals that inhabit the area and serves as an easy-to-use tool to help station owners enhance biodiversity on their sites.
“We feel as responsible operators we must embrace not just the community but the environment we live in,” said Robert Robinson, owner of a 76 station, which is owned by Phillips 66, in Roseville, California.
“We try to have as close to zero negative impact to our environment as we can.”
Native landscaping— even the smallest patches —benefits pollinators like bees, butterflies and hummingbirds with plants that provide nectar and shelter. It improves air and water quality by reducing irrigation and fertilizer needs, stabilizing the soil and reducing flooding by absorbing stormwater run-off. It benefits the community by enhancing the appearance, providing unique opportunities to observe wildlife and increase awareness about environmental sustainability and biodiversity.
The site in Roseville contains over two acres of land with 45 of 70 parking spots covered with a solar canopy. Flower beds at the site have been converted to a drip irrigation system, which saves water and nutrients, compared with a sprinkler or a surface irrigation system.
The site attracts eagles, hawks, owls, turkeys and coyotes, in addition to improving the air and water quality and being a fun learning experience for visitors.
“We are very proud of the impact not just to the community but to the environment as well,” said Robinson.
To date, WHC has developed native landscaping guides for 18 states, with four more in progress, in addition to one for the United Kingdom.
- White Papers:
- Relevant President’s Blog or Wildlife Blog posts
- Project Guidances:
- WHC Webinars: