BASF Corporation

BASF Rensselaer Environmental Education Classroom and Ecology Center

Rensselaer, New York, United States

Certified Gold through 2024

Project Name
Project Type
Pollinator Meadow
Grassland
Landscape Woodland
Landscaped
Wetlands and Water Resources
Wetlands & Water Bodies
Migratory and Local Bird Populations
Avian
About the Program
The BASF Rensselaer Environmental Education Classroom and Ecology Center (BEECH), is located in an industrialized residential area of New York, southeast of Albany, N.Y., and includes a nine-acre closed landfill. Through the creation of an ecologically enhanced cap for the former landfill, BASF has created a wildlife habitat that promotes the growth of indigenous plant species and provides a way-station for migratory birds. a diverse plant community has been established that includes meadow, shrub forest, and freshwater wetland areas. An additional five acres of meadow land and a detention pond have been transformed from a former lagoon area. There are also two man-made ponds on-site. Winged visitors are encouraged and observed in the bird and pollinator habitat through fruiting plants and the creation of nesting habitat.
Practices and Impacts
  • BEECH serves as a canvas for the Kodak SNAP (Seeing Necessary Alternatives Photographically) program, a non-profit organization that works with educators and community leaders to give students the opportunity to explore their lives and their environment through the lens of a camera. The students take photos of the plants in the enhancement planting plan and in other parts of the habitat. Then they research the species and its benefits to wildlife. Since 2006, the SNAP program has focused on plants, fruits and animals and the interactions between them, as well as conservation topics such as why it is good to preserve trees or water and the importance of nature. This multidisciplinary approach is taken throughout the programming offered at on site. Currently the SNAP program involves over 100 of the Rensselaer Elementary, Middle, and High School students.
  • The BEECH classroom is kept up-to-date with a variety of chemistry equipment, microscopes and slides, binoculars and more. Students from grades K-2 come on-site to learn about nature and science, focusing on plants, birds, insects, bats, and other animals. The younger students work side by side with high school students from the Rensselaer High School Science Mentoring program. Students teach students about the importance of restoring and preserving natural resources, and all learn to respect and protect the natural environment.
  • To support the on-site education facility open to other organizations, walkways, and interpretive placards are located throughout the planted garden areas.
  • The turtle tracking and habitat improvement project in conducted in conjunction with a doctoral student and two undergraduate students from SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry located in Syracuse, New York. This study hopes to determine how far the turtles are navigating and where they are spending their time along the Hudson River.

DEVELOPMENT OF THE WHC INDEX IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY