ITC Holdings Corp. has received the Grasslands Project Award and nine other conservation certifications for environmental projects from the Wildlife Habitat Council at the organization’s 2017 Conservation Conference.
ITC Michigan earned the Grasslands Project Award for its native plant restoration work on the transmission corridor crossing the Chippewa Nature Center in Midland, Michigan. Four applications of native seed mixes enhanced the existing native plant diversity in the ITC electricity transmission corridor at the center from 2012 through 2016. These native species provide larval host plants, nectar and pollen sources throughout the growing season, and nesting and cover materials for native pollinators. ITC has conducted annual invasive species treatments within the Chippewa Nature Center transmission corridor since 2010 through mowing, hand-pulling, seed head collecting, foliar and cut-stump herbicide applications, and biological control to encourage the establishment of native forbs, graminoids and shrubs most beneficial to native pollinators.
In addition to the Grasslands Project Award, the company received its newest Wildlife Habitat Council Conservation Certification for native plant restoration work in the ITC Midwest transmission line right-of-way at McLoud Run Park in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. ITC installed two seed mixtures (Dry-Mesic Shortgrass Prairie Mix and Tallgrass Prairie Pollinator Mix) across 22 acres of the McCloud Run corridor in June 2016. Prior to the restoration work, the transmission corridor consisted primarily of disturbed or incompatible vegetation and managed turf grass areas.
ITC Certified Projects Total 15
ITC also earned eight continued conservation certifications from the Wildlife Habitat Council for environmental projects in Michigan and Iowa. ITC holds six other program certifications in these states, which will be reviewed for continued certification in the coming years. In total, the company now has 15 certified programs under Wildlife Habitat Council Conservation Certification.
These and other ITC efforts fall under the company’s ISO 14001-based environmental management system, which focuses on environmental sustainability in ITC facilities as well as in the planning, construction, operation and maintenance of its electricity transmission systems.
“It’s important for us to be good stewards of the environment,” said Jon Jipping, ITC’s chief operating officer. “Our environmental commitment starts and ends with our employees who have embraced waste reduction, conservation and habitat projects across our company. Our transmission infrastructure plays a large role in the surrounding environment, and it’s up to us to continue to lead the charge of giving back to it.”
The Wildlife Habitat Council works with corporations, conservation groups and communities to create habitat and increase biodiversity. “Companies can play a vital role in conservation programs, as demonstrated by ITC,” said Margaret O’Gorman, president, Wildlife Habitat Council. “ITC’s certified programs are proof of its ongoing commitment to environmental education.”