- Marathon Pipe Line (MPL) finds success in the creation of pollinator-friendly habitats at its sites, including one in Lima, Ohio, which is home to 30-plus acres of habitable land for area wildlife.
- The project at the Lima Area Pollinator Habitat started in the spring of 2021 and in two short years has seen tremendous growth.
- Habitats like these are part of the pipeline company’s effort to lead in sustainable energy through nature-based solutions.
Before the colder months settled in across northwest Ohio, there was a buzz around the Lima area. That’s where a fuel storage facility also known as a ‘tank farm’ operated by Marathon Pipe Line (MPL) is also home to a thriving pollinator habitat. Established in the spring of 2021, the Lima Area Pollinator Habitat includes over 30 acres of pollinator-friendly land to support a variety of wildlife, including butterflies and bees.
Part of a company-wide effort by Marathon Petroleum to lead in sustainable energy, MPL is harnessing nature-based solutions to operate its pipelines safely while providing wildlife habitats for pollinating insects, migratory birds, a variety of aquatic and mammal wildlife, in addition to a diverse mix of wildflowers.
“Building sustainable landscapes through a variety of measures is something that is very important to us,” said Pete Thomas, Advanced Environmental Specialist at MPL. “The Lima team not only did the research but applied what they learned while working with partners in the community to take this idea and turn it into a reality.”
The project has exceeded the team’s expectations as the habitat has grown exponentially in year two.
“Our frontline workforce has taken this initiative to heart and made it a calling of their own.”
“We are very pleased with the growth this year and all of the wildlife that came with it,” said Pat Thompson, Lima Area Manager. “Many of us live in the Lima area, and we want to optimize our pipeline station in ways that will benefit the community.”
Like the wildflowers, Thompson said the initiative is thriving and growing, with more pipeline stations wanting to take part.
“We’re learning along the way and sharing best practices,” Thompson said.
Building on Lima’s success, MPL has added pollinator habitats in other areas, while testing out a different mix of seeds to foster even more growth. In addition to the flowering plants, employees have constructed nesting boxes for migrating birds and underwater structures for fish habitats in area ponds to support breeding seasons and promote a healthy nesting environment inside the pollinator habitat.
“We thank our employees who have willingly and so graciously devoted their time and energy to this work and everyone involved for helping us make it the success it is today,” said Ryan Korkos, MPL’s Ohio Valley Region Manager.
In addition to maintaining nearly 300 acres of certified wildlife habitat, the pipeline company established its first biodiversity goal for 2021 to apply sustainable landscapes to 50% of compatible rights of way by the end of 2025.
With over 50,000 acres of pipeline rights of way, this goal is sure to have a positive impact on local vegetation and wildlife across MPL’s national footprint.
“While there is no formal goal established for in-station biodiversity efforts, our frontline workforce has taken this initiative to heart and made it a calling of their own,” Korkos said.