SAULT STE. MARIE, ONT. — Algoma Steel’s site-greening initiative has officially taken root as a team of 19 second-year students from the Forest Technician – Conservation Program at Sault College recently planted around 2,000 seedlings onsite.
The program is a partnership between the college and Algoma Steel Group Inc.
The seedlings were planted on the wind berm along the St. Mary’s River, a 2.2-acre stretch that buffers the wind from the coal piles, indicates a release, adding a mix of red oak, eastern white cedar, jack pine, white pine, red pine, white spruce and willow seedlings are being introduced to the area where biosolids were previously placed to augment the soil and facilitate the propagation of ground cover.
Algoma has developed a comprehensive site-greening plan for the 120-year-old steelworks through collaboration with experts and community partners like Sault College. The plan is to create naturalized green buffer strips along the perimeter of the site, by introducing soils, creating seasonal surface water ponding areas and vegetating with select native plants and tree species, adds the release.
“The collaboration between Sault College and Algoma provides our students an experiential learning opportunity that allowed them to see their efforts, from seed stratification to sowing to tending to the subsequent planting of the seedlings, come full circle,” said Adam Hodgson, natural environment professor, in a statement.
“Algoma’s Site Greening Initiative is an industry leading example of a long-term commitment to improving the overall environment in and around the steel plant. This experience not only helped our students to appreciate the realities of industrial steelmaking but also to see first-hand the importance of an initiative and commitment, such as this.”