Marathon Petroleum Corporation Supports WHC’s Mission Through Generous Donation

Through a generous donation to a group of non-profit organizations including WHC, Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC) has demonstrated that their dedication to supporting sustainability lies not just in their corporate conservation programs, but in their charitable giving as well. 

The annual MPC gives Invitational golf outing, held October 8-10, 2022, invited business partners to raise awareness of and funding for many of the non-profit organizations that MPC and their employees support. The proceeds of the event benefit various non-profits that provide humanitarian aid, assist students, support sustainability and more. More than 180 sponsors and donors raised a total of $2.26 million, with each of the nine non-profits selected, including WHC, receiving $221,000 in unrestricted funds that can be used at the recipient’s discretion to support their organization’s overall mission. 

“At MPC, our community investment strategy is centered around strengthening communities, helping make people’s lives better, and protecting the environment we all share,” said Tim Aydt, EVP of Refining at Marathon Petroleum. “We’re happy to have opportunities like this where our valued business partners can participate, because together we make an even bigger impact.”  

Supporting Innovation that Contributes to a Nature Positive World 

The timing of this gift aligns perfectly with a period where WHC is poised for growth.  

“This generous donation from Marathon Petroleum Corporation comes at an opportune time for WHC,” said Margaret O’Gorman, WHC President. “Thirty-five years ago, we led the connections between the global business and nature communities. As business needs change amid the ongoing biodiversity crisis, new challenges emerge. This generous donation will ensure WHC is able to continue to build its culture of innovation to meet emerging needs and deliver meaningful results that contribute to a nature positive world.” 

A 30 Year Partnership to Support Biodiversity 

MPC employees lead local students on a scavenger hunt through Savage Branch Wildlife Reserve located in Catlettsburg, KY.

MPC and WHC have a long-standing connection of almost 30 years, with MPC owning and managing over 1,200 acres on 20 WHC-certified sites. One of these — the Savage Branch Wildlife Reserve located near the MPC refinery in Catlettsburg, Kentucky — is among the longest-running WHC-certified sites in the U.S., first achieving certification in 1994. The wildlife reserve includes a 320-acre woodland and five conservation projects that support the forest habitat as well as species that depend on it, and offer learning opportunities for the local community. 

In addition to the longtime conservation work at the Savage Branch Wildlife Reserve, MPC has also collaborated with WHC on an urban forestry project, Marathon Gardens, located in an industrial and residential combination area of Detroit, Michigan. Designated as a WHC Certification Gold program, Marathon Gardens creates habitat for cavity-nesting birds, supports the nesting needs of turtle populations and provides roosting boxes for several bat species. Marathon Gardens also offers learning opportunities for employees, community members and local high school students to gain a greater understanding of the biodiversity in this industrial neighborhood. 

The team at Marathon collaborates with WHC staff and community partners from local Detroit organizations, to expand and maintain the Marathon Gardens habitat via planting events. MPC regularly invites local residents to participate in planting and weeding events as well. Over the last several years, MPC has held tree plantings in public parks, with the goal of creating additional outdoor recreational space for residents to enjoy. With assistance from WHC, MPC selected trees like sycamore and burr oak that would help filter particulate matter from the air, providing the additional benefit of improved air quality. 

Moving Forward Together 

“We’re honored to be among the companies chosen for this MPC gives donation,” said O’Gorman. “MPC continues to demonstrate its commitment to sustainability and biodiversity through its award-winning conservation programs. We look forward to working together on both existing and new projects to help MPC meet their sustainability goals and make meaningful contributions to the communities in which they work.” 

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