Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor takes part in regional tree planting program
Ports of Indiana CEO Vanta E. Coda II and Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor Port Director Ian Hirt joined volunteers representing businesses at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor, the Wildlife Habitat Council and the United States Forest Service to plant several dozen deciduous and coniferous trees at the port to help reduce stormwater runoff, prevent fugitive dust and increase biodiversity.
Through an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Forestry Service announced a tree-planting program for the eight-state Great Lakes Basin last spring. The Wildlife Habitat Council obtained a grant from this program on behalf of the port.
The tree species planted throughout the port property include American Basswood, Princeton Elm, Kentucky Coffeetree, Shumard Oak, Eastern Red Cedar, Bur Oak, Black Gum, Black Walnut and Shingle Oak. The trees came from regional companies and were propagated from locally-collected seeds, ensuring the genetic line remains native to the area. The grant requires recipients to maintain the plantings and ensure the trees are appropriate for the climate.
“Most of the trees we planted were in the five-to-seven-foot height range and were planted by hand,” said Rhiannon Ulatowski, Industrial Restoration Coordinator for the Wildlife Habitat Council. “While some of our efforts are geared toward habitat restoration and land reclamation opportunities, our main effort in the past two years has been focused on planting native trees at industrial and manufacturing facilities in coastal Indiana and Illinois, along the Calumet River Industrial Corridor.”
“We are committed to regularly reviewing the environmental impacts of our facilities and services to make sure the greenest form of transportation becomes even greener,” said Hirt. “Implementing an urban forestry technique like planting trees is a natural way for a port to manage heavy rains and we are pleased to have been selected to participate in this program.”
Ports of Indiana is a member of the United States and Canada Green Marine Environmental Program, a voluntary initiative dedicated to improving the industry’s environmental performance throughout North America.