Conservationist of the Year
Named the 2008 Conservationist of the Year by the Muskegon (Michigan) Conservation District, Alcoa Howmet, Whitehall, began its environmental awareness program more than a decade ago when it sponsored the White Pines Project to introduce Michigan’s state tree to elementary students. Recently, Alcoa Howmet committed to convert 4.5 acres of grass landscape on its campus to native prairie and oak savanna. “The (savanna) project highlights their dedication to the community and the environment by not only increasing habitat and improving water quality, but also by rebuilding the local green infrastructure. This proactive approach to environmental sustainability will be a great model for business, commerce, and local municipalities,” said Jeff Auch, executive director, Muskegon Conservation District. Alcoa Howmet also received a Community Pride Award for its Woodland Garden Project in partnership with Michigan State University Extension Service and Master Gardeners. In the photos: Volunteers plant oak trees (top two photos) to begin the savanna restoration; Joe Slater (left), conservation district board president, presents the Conservationist of the Year award to Amy Heisser, director, human resources, Alcoa Howmet, and Chris Rohrer, manager, environmental engineering.