FCA Dundee Engine Plant
Dundee, Michigan, United States
Certified Silver through 2022
About the Program
The FCA Dundee Engine Plant, located 25 miles south of Ann Arbor, Michigan, is a powertrain facility that makes car engines. The facility has been in operation since 2005, and conservation work has been ongoing since 2006. The site features 1.3 million square feet of floor space within 248 acres of land. This land includes 127 acres of native Michigan prairie, which the team manages to provide quality habitat to native species in the area. This work provides nesting, brood rearing, escape and roosting cover for songbirds and game birds. Native prairie plants with deep root systems and a perennial nature also help soil conservation and the protection of water resources. Seventy acres are designated as pollinator habitat designed to increase native wildflower presence and diversity, providing nectar sources and larval host sites for a range of pollinator species including the monarch butterfly. Management activities for these habitats include eradication of invasive species, prescribed burns and seeding of diverse native wildflower species. These practices are designed and implemented in close coordination with partners including Pheasants Forever, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan Wildflower Farm and Plant Wise. The company has also partnered with local schools to raise awareness of monarch conservation issues.
Practices and Impacts
- The 127-acre grassland project has earned verification in the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program, in the Forest, Wetlands and Habitat System category, which focuses on ecological and forest sustainability practices. FCA US is the first automaker to receive this recognition, which is administered by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
- Grassland management includes prescribed burns, removal of invasive species and seeding of native wildflower species in continuous strips to promote non-fragmented habitat. FCA employees conduct surveys of the site at least annually, recording the flora species found on-site.
- In June 2020, the pollinator project became certified as a monarch waystation, in the colossal size category (over 5,000 square feet). The team manages monarch-friendly species such as common milkweed, swamp milkweed, butterfly milkweed and poke milkweed to support migrating monarch butterflies. The company has also registered with Journey North and reports observation of monarchs and hummingbirds observed on the property.
- Monitoring from 2019 indicated a variety of butterflies, birds and insects observed. Species noted included monarch butterflies, cloudless sulfur butterflies, swallowtail butterflies, American robins, red-winged blackbirds, European starlings, Eastern bluebirds, American goldfinches, chickadees, honeybees and dragonflies.
- A bug hotel was completed in 2019 to provide a haven for pollinators. The hotel was designed by employees in a design-and-build contest. The company also worked with the Lenawee County biologist to identify the correct bugs to target, and the materials and food needed to support a variety of insects.
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