- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
GM Sites in Detroit and Warren Certified by Wildlife HabitatGM's headquarters at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, and its technical center in Warren, Mich., are the company's latest sites to be certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC), bringing the total of the auto manufacturer's certified sites to eight in the U.S. and Canada.
“It is gratifying to have our wildlife habitats at two of our most significant facilities - our world headquarters and our major technical center in North America - recognized by the Wildlife Habitat Council,” said Elizabeth Lowery, vice president, Environment and Energy. “It is especially meaningful to us to have our work validated by the Council because its process is not subjective, but is very much data driven.”
Both sites are unique in that they are in urban areas, one in downtown Detroit that has been the site of industry and commerce for a hundred years or more, and the other in the nearby suburb of Warren, where GM has conducted design, engineering and research activities since the mid-1950s. In both locations for example, paved areas were reduced and replaced with native plant species, creating living spaces and food for insects, birds and small mammals. These changes also reduce excess storm water run-off and protect wildlife in area watersheds.
“The union of conservation and industry, already well established at the Wildlife Habitat Council, serves as a model for protecting natural resources while emphasizing collaboration and community involvement,” said WHC president Bill Howard. “General Motors' work in Detroit and Warren is a great example of how a company can re-think how it uses the land around its urban facilities. Their innovative thinking is reintroducing nature into areas that have been dormant under expanses of concrete for many years.”
Features of GM's Headquarters site include:
- An outside plaza and promenade that contains 20 species of trees and 30 species of bushes and shrubs, primarily native species.
- A portion of the concrete shoreline has been soft engineered to improve fish habitat.
- Special light fixtures minimize the negative impact on migrating birds.
- The 3- to 4- story concrete berms at the front of the building once considered an eyesore were removed and replaced with an oak tree grove.
In Warren, an eight-acre parcel of land was transformed from a parking lot into a private park area called Saarinen Mall, which is often used for community events. Notable features of this site are:
- Four species of trees and 42 types of plants, nearly 100-percent native varieties.
- Over 15 types of birds have been observed at the site, including Great Blue Herons.
- Eight different types of mammals have been noted at the site.
Find more information on GM at www.gm.com or the WHC at www.wildlifehc.org.