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Cathy Dyson writes about King George County.

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Landfill gets honors for its wildlife habitat

Geese make their home in a wetlands area at the landfill.

In the midst of news stories about cremated body parts from service members being taken from Dover Air Force Base to the King George Landfill, there’s a bit of good news coming from the regional facility.

The landfill recently received its re-certification from the the Wildlife Habitat Council for its efforts to improve conditions for the feathered and furry.

The council presented Waste Management with its Wildlife at WorkSM certification at its annual symposium this week. The King George facility is one of 128 certified programs at 110 Waste Management sites.

Of the 685 acres at the landfill, about 200 acres are maintained for wildlife, including grasslands, wetlands and ponds. Thirteen employees are involved in projects, according to a press release.

A wildflower meadow with native grasses and wildflowers was planted above the capped landfill to create habitat for a diversity of species. Two pollinator gardens provide bees, hummingbirds and butterflies with habitat. In addition, four new bee hives and queen bees were added in 2011.

Brush piles have been created throughout the site as habitat for smaller animals, which in turn are a source of prey for larger animals such as the frequently spotted bald eagles.

The landfill also has added basking logs to the ponds, along with duck and bat boxes.

The landfill’s wildlife team works with the community as well. Classes from Sealston Elementary School takes field trips to the site to learn about wildlife and recycling.

The site has partnered with the Audubon Society for the annual Christmas Bird Count.

There are future plans to work with local Boy Scout troops to erect bird boxes and raptor perches.

In 2007, Waste Management pledged to preserve and restore 25,000 acres of wildlife habitat across North America. The company achieved this goal in 2010 and has 26,000 acres in various programs.

More information is available here.

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/kinggeorge/2011/11/18/landfill-gets-honors-for-its-wildlife-habitat/

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