ITC Corporate Headquarters
Novi, Michigan, United States
Certified Gold through 2024
Mesic Hardwood Forest
Area 3 - Native Plantings
Wetlands & Water Bodies
Michigan Vernal Pool Project
Wetlands & Water Bodies
Ponds and Emergent Wetlands
Wetlands & Water Bodies
Cavity Nesting Songbirds
Invasive Species Management
Amphibian & Reptile Monitoring
Reptiles & Amphibians
About the Program
The ITC Holdings Corporate Headquarters is located in Novi, Michigan, approximately 30 miles northwest of Detroit. ITC Holdings acquired the site in 2008, and it was previously an undeveloped area except for an electrical substation and transmission power right-of-way. The headquarters facilities were completed in 2008. The site is 92 acres in size, with 62 acres actively managed for wildlife. The program was first certified in 2010, and is focused on creating and maintaining native habitats and species onsite.
Practices and Impacts
- The team manages several native habitats onsite, fostering native plant communities and providing resources for native fauna. One of the largest and older habitat projects is the Mesic Hardwood Forest, spanning 20 acres of land. The project's focus is managing invasive species and regenerating native forest habitat. The team has regularly expanded the habitat, planting new native forest species in 2013 and 2016. The team monitors the habitat adaptively, customizing the plant species in all habitat plantings based on plant survival and success. The project is also certified through Tree Line USA.
- The team planted a butterfly garden to support native butterfly species onsite. The team continually adapts the butterfly habitat to provide more successful plant species and increase butterfly presence. Most recently in 2019, the team planted a butterfly-focused mix including milkweed, butterfly weed, purple coneflower, and New England aster. The team has observed many monarch butterfly caterpillars in the garden. The project is also certified through the Monarch Watch Monarch Waystation Program.
- The team went beyond local government ordinance to replace trees onsite, and planted native tree species to enhance native habitat. They have utilized this native tree habitat as an example to the community of options that go beyond basic tree planting requirements, creating healthy environments. The team recently cleared invasive forbs in the habitat as well, allowing higher success rates of the native plant species. The team has observed several species of native wildlife in the habitat and have seen butterfly usage of a patch of milkweed in the planted area.
- The team planted a general pollinator garden onsite to enhance natural habitat for native pollinators with host plant species. The team has adaptively managed the garden, planting more of the species with excellent survival in the habitat. They have been managing the habitat adaptively as well, focusing on plants that have had good survival rates and fostered pollinator habitat. The team also has been clearing invasive species from the garden regularly. The team has observed many pollinator species in the garden regularly, including butterflies, moths, native bees, and flies. The project is also certified through the Monarch Watch Monarch Waystation Program.
- The team manages a pond habitat onsite, increasing native plant species and strategically planting buffers around the waterbody to prevent excessive runoff and pollution. The plants installed have been successful, creating effective ground cover in the habitat. The team removes invasive species such as phragmites monthly to aid native plant survival as well, contributing to Great Lakes Phragmites Collaborative's Phragmites Adaptive Management Framework data.
- The team manages six vernal pools onsite and contributes data to the Michigan Vernal Pool Mapping and Assessment Project. The team has found indicator species such as fingernail clams and fairy shrimp present in the vernal pools annually since 2015, illustrating the success of the project in managing high water quality and species diversity. The team invites Walled Lake High School students to participate in vernal pool monitoring annually as well, engaging the community in the observation of the project.
- The team manages various ponds and emergent wetlands onsite, enhancing their quality and native species population. They have regularly removed phragmites and other invasive plant species, and introduced over 500 native plant species in the habitat. In addition, the design of the plantings was created with erosion reduction in mind. The team has observed trumpeter swans, a threatened species in Michigan, in the habitat since 2019.
- The team installed 12 bluebird and four chickadee nesting boxes throughout the site starting in 2011 and 2016 respectively, to create habitat for nesting native songbirds. The team invited third grade students from the Child Discovery Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan to help construct and install the chickadee boxes. In 2018 and 2019, the project fledged over 100 native songbirds, and all nesting boxes have been used annually by native birds.
- The team installed three wood duck nesting boxes and three mallard hen tube nesting structures at their wetland habitats onsite. The wood duck boxes were built in an engagement activity with their local Eagle Scouts, with support from Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Ducks Unlimited. The project is also aligned with Michigan Waterfowl Legacy.
- Across the site, the team has engaged in invasive species control projects to increase native plant diversity in their habitats. The team has regularly removed phragmites, woody invasive species, and herbaceous invasive species in their various habitats through effective and customized methods. Due to their efforts, the site documented a 56.7% reduction in phragmites on their property.
- Within their pollinator and butterfly gardens, the team installed a native bee nesting structure in 2015 to add additional habitat features for native bee species. The team frequently observes pollinator species in the gardens, and the native bee utilization of the nesting structure has been consistent since 2018 with about half the tubes inhabited on average every year.
- In 2018, the team installed 10 coverboards for reptiles and 31 coverboards for amphibians near the vernal pool and wetland habitats onsite, creating microhabitat for these animal species. The team has observed amphibians and reptiles in the habitats regularly, including painted turtles, bullfrogs, tree frogs, and garter snakes. The project data contributes to the statewide Michigan Herp Atlas.
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