Tampa Bay Team Nurtures Pollinator Populations
Many team members in Tampa Bay, Florida, devoted hours of their weekend time to create a pollinator habitat, launching Molex’s involvement in conservation stewardship with the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC). This volunteer effort supports Koch Industries’ ongoing work with the WHC, an international nongovernmental organization focused on the conservation and management of natural habitats on corporate lands through partnerships and education.
Knowing that approximately 75% of Florida crops depend on pollinators such as bees, bats, hummingbirds and butterflies, the Molex team felt that helping the local environment would be a great way to bring mutual benefit to the community. These volunteers identified a need to combat the decline of pollinator populations and planted a habitat on the grounds of the Molex office location to support the restoration of the local pollinators.
Local operations manager Ed Corley, and business development leader Amadou Diop organized volunteer efforts, and they followed WHC guidelines to achieve certification to help ensure the habitat’s effectiveness. The process began with volunteers using a WHC decision tree and their own research to choose native plant species that would best attract bees, butterflies and birds, as well as other wildlife.
The day after Ed and Amadou hosted a lunch-and-learn for volunteers, 14 Molex employees gathered to plant both nectar plants to provide pollinators with food sources, and host plants, which are crucial for caterpillar growth and development. Their efforts were rewarded with a stunning garden at the entrance of the Molex Tampa Bay facility that also provides nourishment and shelter to support a thriving pollinator population.
“It was a pleasure to take part in planting the pollinator habitat with our Molex team and to take this first step on our habitat conservation journey,” said Ed. “By conserving wildlife, we’re ensuring that our employees, the community and future generations can continue to enjoy our natural world and the incredible species that live within it.”
“It is rewarding to walk into a garden I was part of creating and watch the butterflies,” said Amadou. “By devoting time and thought to this project, Molex Tampa Bay has created a cycle of mutual benefit by offering employees a chance to get active, have meaningful and fulfilling experiences, and make a positive contribution to the environment.”
Now that the initial planting is complete, WHC certification for the habitat is underway, requiring ongoing maintenance and monitoring for the process to be finalized.
Initiating this rewarding project has prompted Molex locations around the globe to plan similar efforts at their locations in 2022 and beyond. The organization’s foray into conservation was inspired by the efforts of its parent company. Koch Industries has worked with the WHC since the early 2000s as part of its dedication to the stewardship of local communities in which they operate with responsible management of the local environment, including wildlife habitats.
One example of Koch’s conservation efforts is a WHC-certified project at headquarters in Wichita, Kansas. About 120 acres serve as a habitat for pollinators and waterfowl to support the population growth of these native species. Other Koch subsidiaries also participate in WHC-certification projects. Flint Hills has been working with WHC for 20 years to preserve habitats and increase biodiversity at Pine Bend Bluffs in Dakota County, and INVISTA received WHC certification in 2021 for its conservation of 53 acres of wetlands near its site in Victoria, Texas.