Wearing lime shirts emblazoned with "Do Good. Do Well.," an army of more than 500 green worker bees, volunteers from Fairmount Santrol, a provider of sand and sand-based products, descended on our Dayton Bluffs Preserve in Ottawa for a “Day of Caring” on August 19th.
They went to their task of invasive species and brush removal with zeal, and worked so fast the wood chippers and chainsaws couldn’t keep up. Fairmount Santrol provided all of the tents, food, equipment and safety supplies, and incredible manpower. Their employees and associates from around the world, some as far as China, fanned out along the woodland borders of the Dayton Bluffs Preserve to remove invasive buckthorn and honeysuckle from that woodland edge zone. With these invaders gone, the native species have less competition for sunlight and the seeds that are already there, patiently waiting, can flourish and give shelter to the abundant wildlife, birds and insects of Dayton Bluffs.
It was a wonder to behold, the buses rolling in at 7:30am, every rider outfitted, fed and rearing to go. Before we knew it, chainsaws and chippers were buzzing and mountains of brush appeared everywhere. The Fairmount Santrol workers handily outpaced the chippers they had rented and we were just
trying to figure out what to do with all of the brush they had cut and gathered when the clouds rolled in. But the imminent rain didn't deter this bunch - they worked even faster, seeming to gain energy from the tension in the atmosphere...until the tornado sirens went off and safety protocol won out over true grit.
It would have taken us years to do the restoration work this hearty group did in just a couple of hours. Jennifer Hammer, our Land Conservation and Ecological Restoration Manager who has taken the reins on the ecological management of Dayton Bluffs said, “The amount of work that was completed on August 19th was in itself a huge step down the road of recovery for Dayton Bluffs, but our partnership with Fairmount Santrol and its Wedron employees will benefit the preserve for years to come.”
We can't begin to thank Fairmount Santrol for making the Dayton Bluffs Preserve the beneficiary of their conscious business practices and lending us their workforce for the day. We were incredibly impressed by and grateful for their efficiency and enthusiasm.
To learn more about the Dayton Bluffs Preserve, click here.