Creve Coeur, Missouri, United States
Certified Gold through 2022
Prairie - Site Two
West Drive Prairie
Native Cavity Nesters
Earth Day Celebrations
Awareness & Community Engagement
Stormwater Controls School Project
Nestbox Monitor Training - Training
About the Program
Bayer’s Chesterfield campus is just outside St. Louis, Missouri, in a suburban area with rural qualities. Employees there have been active for wildlife management for over two decades, surviving changes in corporate ownership and new development. While conservation professionals are consulted for technical advice, the program is completely organized and managed by Bayer employees, who engage many of their co-workers in implementation and monitoring.
Practices and Impacts
- The team manages about 111 acres of native hardwood forest, with special attention to controlling invasive bush honeysuckle. Employee volunteers perform mechanical honeysuckle removal by pulling or by cutting the trees and treating with herbicide, as recommended by the Missouri Department of Conservation. The team uses contractors for larger-scale removal and follow-up treatment. Photos show newly opened forest floor, with room for woodland wildflowers and tree seedlings to grow. Monitoring is by conducting plant inventories, which are augmented by observations of nesting and migrating birds.
- The Chesterfield campus includes several grasslands, totaling about 7 acres, that have been restored over a 26-year period. Woody plants are controlled by occasional mowing and prescribed burns occur on a 3-5-year cycle. The team enhances plant diversity by gathering seed in one area and scattering it in another. Monitoring involves recording plant inventories, and supplementary observations of pollinators.
- The grassland areas, as well as some landscaped rain gardens, include native plants that provide optimal habitat for many pollinators. While the team records observations of the variety of moths and butterflies found, they focus on monarch butterflies. The team added milkweed in several parts of the grasslands and have been excited to find monarch caterpillars and cocoons.
- The nest box project is decades old and underwent a major reorganization in 2015. The team now maintains 14 nest boxes, which were built with assistance of local scouts, and trains 10-15 volunteers each year to collect weekly data on the boxes. Besides training on identifying species by their nests and eggs, volunteers are provided with an app for uploading data and photos. Native cavity-nesting birds using the boxes include eastern bluebirds, Carolina chickadees and house wrens, as well as the non-native English sparrow. When the team found that house wrens destroyed bluebird eggs to take over certain nest boxes, they installed a deterrent that does not harm the native wrens.
- For the annual Earth Day Celebration, the team invites about 15 organizations to sponsor booths in a central location on campus. The event is coordinated with the campus’s Take Your Child to Work Day, so that exhibitors can engage younger learners, too. Throughout the week surrounding Earth day, the team offers related activities like nature walks. The logistics of the celebration are evaluated, and participants are surveyed to gauge their interest in the offerings.
- Bayer engineers have brought their expertise to a sixth-grade classroom for several years in a row to share methods for protecting stream habitats through stormwater management, such as installing rain gardens and bioswales. The students then designed their own stormwater system, and the Bayer experts answered questions and gave feedback about the students’ ideas. The program correlated with formal learning goals, and the teacher evaluated the lesson and provided logistical input.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE WHC INDEX IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY