Lafarge North America’s Sun City Aggregates site in the Phoenix, Arizona metro area holds an annual Safety Day in recognition of its employees’ safety achievements. At this year’s event, held on November 7, 2014, a pollinator information booth and a safety quiz with pollinator conservation questions were incorporated into the event’s activities. Approximately 80 people participated in the Safety Day, including the site’s employees and their families, neighbors to the site, and other interested members of the public. Additionally, and to assist CEMEX with the potential development of a voluntary pollinator garden program on their site(s), we organized a visit by CEMEX staff to tour the Sun City Aggregates pollinator garden and meet with staff on-site.
The Safety Day’s pollinator information booth was loaded with foods produced through pollination by pollinators (e.g., blueberries, ingredients of salsa, honey, almonds, etc.). These items were displayed to trigger a conversation on the importance of pollinators for human food production. Employees could also learn about the on-site pollinator garden through a poster and brochures that were provided at the booth. In addition, the booth had information on native flowering plants that are beneficial to pollinators. We encouraged people to take this information home and incorporate these native plants into their vegetable gardens or native landscaping.
The Sun City Aggregates pollinator garden was installed by employees with the help of a local Girl Scout troop in 2009. Since 2010, the pollinator habitat has been certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) and is used for education and outreach activities. A poster on the Safety Day booth showed pictures of the installation and activities held since its initiation. Employees who visited the booth showed their families and children the photos and told stories about working with the Girl Scouts.
To encourage employees to visit the various booths at the event, Lafarge staff had developed a quiz that each person was required to complete in order to receive a raffle ticket. The quiz included questions about safety, as well as three pollinator conservation-related questions. After a brief discussion with us at the booth, the employees could answer these questions: name a pollinator, which foods are available thanks to pollinators, and what can you do to help pollinators?
In the spirit of sharing knowledge about local WHC-certified programs, staff from Lafarge also hosted a meeting with CEMEX staff at the Sun City Aggregates pollinator garden. We discussed how the pollinator garden’s design allows for groups of visitors, what maintenance activities are included on a seasonal and annual basis, and how outreach and education activities are managed. This information sharing is greatly beneficial for company representatives who are considering creating an outdoor classroom for education and outreach activities. We would like to extend a big Thank You to Lafarge staff for hosting the meeting with CEMEX and the booth at the annual Safety Day.
Find out more about Lafarge’s Sun City Aggregates site by visiting WHC’s portal on the Conservation Registry or by contacting WHC’s Regional Office in Arizona (firstname.lastname@example.org or 520/909-0268). WHC’s Regional Office in Arizona has been working to connect existing WHC-certified programs with interested WHC members and companies new to WHC.