AriensCo has received a prestigious Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) certification for its work to restore and conserve 150 acres of natural ecosystem at its headquarters in Brillion, Wisconsin. The effort is expected to have positive benefits for the land and animals that call the habitat home, as well as AriensCo employees, visitors and local residents.
AriensCo has committed to restoring approximately 86 acres of prairie oak savanna, a unique habitat that once thrived in the U.S. Midwest but is currently in peril. It is estimated that only 0.01 percent of Wisconsin’s original 5.5 million acres of prairie oak savanna remain. The remaining 64 acres will be comprised of forests and wetlands. All of the land is on property that AriensCo owns.
“The history of AriensCo and the history of Brillion, Wisconsin, are interconnected,” said AriensCo Chairman and CEO Dan Ariens. “For five generations, the Ariens family has invested in this great city that supports us. By restoring and preserving this natural habitat, future generations will be able to enjoy the many benefits of connecting with the natural ecosystem of Wisconsin.”
AriensCo is working on a variety of strategies to revive the land and cultivate the native vegetation and wildlife that once called the area home. This includes managing controlled burns that use fire to root out invasive species and refresh prairie vegetation, which is critical to propagating the habitat. For more details on these efforts, visit Out Working
“The WHC Conservation Certification® program at the Brillion campus is a model of corporate conservation on a manufacturing site,” said Margaret O'Gorman, WHC President. “Recognizing the importance of green spaces for employees, AriensCo has created a thriving habitat to support wildlife, recreation and agriculture that meets the stringent requirements for WHC Certification.”
WHC certification is the first step in managing the project and it marks the beginning of a continual effort to oversee the land. In what WHC calls “adaptive management,” AriensCo will embark on long-term strategies to evaluate success, revise objectives, consider modifications to maximize its efforts and ultimately, recertify the project. It’s a an ongoing process to ensure that both the lands and the people that will enjoy them are maintained.
A PLACE FOR EVERYONE
The AriensCo conservation project is mainly about restoring and preserving an ecosystem of plants and animals, but people that visit the grounds will surely benefit, too. By creating a healthy habitat, the prairie oak savanna, forest and wetlands can reduce air pollution, protect vital resources, contribute to people’s rest and positive mental health, and increase a sense of community for the people of Brillion and those that visit. The conservation area resides next to recreational trails the company has been creating over the last few decades and next to Stone Prairie, an event site AriensCo debuted last year.
The project could also present a point of pride for AriensCo employees, as they can contribute to the project and their community. Studies have shown that employees who spend breaks outside are happier, more creative and experience improved immune health. The result is a stronger, more supportive and more appealing work environment for AriensCo employees.
“The biggest motivation for AriensCo for this project is the future and health of our community and employees,” Dan Ariens said. “We have our roots here in Brillion. We want to protect this land, the people and the wildlife that call it home, not just for the present, but for generations to come. We are committed to this project’s success and excited by all of the benefits it will bring to plants, animals and people alike.”