- Employees from Marathon Petroleum’s St. Paul Park refinery started restoration work on a 175-acre bluffland property near the facility, as part of its longtime partnership with the Friends of the Mississippi River.
- In 2022, the refinery presented the nonprofit with a grant to restore the property that had been overrun with litter and invasive plant life.
- Employee volunteers split up into two teams in May to clear the property, which is part of the Mississippi River’s watershed in the Twin Cities region.
Winters can be long in Minnesota, and the last one brought near-record snowfall to the Twin Cities area, officially the third snowiest on record, leading to a snow-covered ground for much of the 2022-2023 season.
When all that snow finally melted, employees from Marathon Petroleum’s refinery in St. Paul Park got to work collecting and hauling away bags and bags worth of litter and debris from an area bluffland near the facility—as part of its longstanding partnership with Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR).
“It can seem daunting to care for natural spaces when you have things like trash and invasive species, but a step like this, getting 30 Marathon employees out to clean up and beautify their space, really shows their commitment to the community,” said Alex Roth, Conservation Director at FMR.
With guidance from FMR, Marathon Petroleum’s volunteers covered the entire grounds in two shifts, collecting all kinds of trash from common litter to a kiddie pool. They were also tasked with removing invasive plant life that was harming the bluffland’s native vegetation.
“Just the level of participation was incredible. The positive energy, it just speaks, not only of the team that we have, but to the community in which we operate,” said Holly Jackson, General Manager at the St. Paul Park refinery. “Seeing this many people participate, working hand-in-hand for something like this, is definitely uplifting.”
In 2022, the St. Paul Park refinery presented the nonprofit organization with a $23,000 grant to help restore the 175-acre property that sits just east of Marathon Petroleum’s facility and is home to more than 300 migratory bird species.
“We hope this property will eventually serve as a community space and where local schools can bring their students to learn about the importance of preserving and protecting natural areas,” said Calvin Johnson, Environmental Supervisor at Marathon Petroleum. “Additionally, for us as Marathon employees, it makes you proud to work for a company that’s willing to invest in the community.”
“Seeing this many people participate, working hand-in-hand for something like this, is definitely uplifting.”
In addition to the larger bluffland property, the St. Paul Park refinery has supported FMR in the restoration of a two-acre prairie park that is owned by Marathon Petroleum and has been a certified wildlife habitat since 1998.
For three decades, FMR has worked to conserve the Mississippi River’s watershed in the Twin Cities region.