Southwestern PA-based Olympus Energy LLC is traditionally known for its natural gas exploration expertise, not its wildlife and gardening acumen. But the company recently took on a “Gaia Pad Project” near its Penn Township facility that welcomes pollinators with nursery-grown native plant species and seeds – a testament to the company’s environmental stewardship that helped them achieve Wildlife Habitat Council Conservation Certification status.
“Conservation is core to Olympus, and to our environmental team in particular,” said Laura Karosic, Olympus Energy’s Environmental Compliance Manager, who manages the implementation of the firm’s conservation projects. “Last year, through a partnership with Groundwater and Environmental Services (GES), the concept of developing a pollinator garden and investigating additional conservation projects on property that we own was developed and implemented. As biodiversity and protecting our pollinator species becomes more important in Pennsylvania, we wanted to do our part to advance these conservation goals.”
Once the idea was developed, the next step was implementation. Throughout 2022, the Olympus team planted the pollinator garden and installed bat boxes, which were built by the Jeanette and Penn Trafford School District Area Scouting Organizations. Nursery-grown native plant species and seeds that attract pollinator species were planted by Olympus employees and volunteers from GES Additionally, Olympus participated in the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s annual turkey population survey, as well as identifying and removing the highly invasive Spotted Lanternfly.
The Gaia Pad Project was designated as Certified Silver, signifying leadership among the over 600 WHC Conservation Certification programs. Programs are given a Certified, Silver Certified or Gold Certified designation.
“The Gaia Pad Project is recognized as meeting the strict requirements of WHC Conservation Certification,” said Margaret O’Gorman, President, WHC. “Companies achieving WHC Conservation Certification, like Olympus Energy, are environmental leaders, voluntarily managing their lands to support sustainable ecosystems and the communities that surround them.”
“Olympus is committed to serving as a steward of the communities where we operate, while we responsibly develop natural gas resources,” said Tim Dugan, President and CEO of Olympus Energy. “One of the key pillars in our Environmental, Social, Governance Program is minimizing surface impacts. Projects like our Gaia Pad Project allow us to go one step further and improve the habitat surrounding our locations. Olympus is proud of this certification and our focus on excellence.”
“I feel so lucky to work for a natural gas company who prioritizes balancing environmental stewardship with responsible natural resource development,” Laura Karosic said. “Achieving Wildlife Habitat Council certification showcases Olympus’s commitment to enhancing biodiversity in the communities we operate, and that responsible resource development and conservation can coexist. Whether it’s in our backyards, parks, well pads, or pipelines, we all have a responsibility to protect and preserve wildlife habitats where we live, work, and play. That to me is why this certification is so meaningful!”
The Olympus team loved the project – from the employees to the Board, everyone saw the Gaia pad as an important enhancement to the company and its environmental stewardship program efforts. Added Laura Karosic, “We love partnering with the Scout troops in our communities and have integrated these projects into our employee volunteer program also.”
In addition, Olympus Energy plans to work on other environmentally-focused projects this year, including planting native seed mixes on some of its properties, enhancing the existing pollinator garden near its Gaia pad, working with scouting troops to improve an observation deck near one of its locations in Penn Township, and implementing riparian enhancements on property in Murrysville.
In Greek mythology, “Gaia” means Earth – the ancestral mother and giver of life. It’s clear in their love for the Gaia pad and other projects that Olympus Energy’s employees value and appreciate the ways the Earth gives back, and that these sustainable and planet-friendly projects will continue at the company long into the future.
ABOUT OLYMPUS ENERGY
Olympus Energy LLC is a privately held energy company headquartered in Canonsburg that specializes in upstream and midstream development of natural gas resources in the Appalachian Basin. Olympus has a scalable asset base in southwestern Pennsylvania, having assembled nearly 100,000 largely contiguous and operated acres within the core Marcellus, Utica, and Upper Devonian fairways. Visit http://www.olympusenergy.com for additional information.
ABOUT WILDLIFE HABITAT COUNCIL
Wildlife Habitat Council promotes and certifies habitat conservation and management on corporate lands through partnerships and education. WHC Conservation Certification programs take corporate sustainability goals and objectives and translate them into tangible and measurable on-the-ground actions. Through a focus on building collaboration for conservation with corporate employees, other conservation organizations, government agencies, and community members, WHC programs focus on healthy ecosystems and connected communities. WHC-assisted wildlife habitat and conservation education programs are found in 48 states and 24 countries. To learn more, visit www.wildlifehc.org.