November 15, 2011
Flint Hills Resources and representatives from the Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program and Coastal Bend Bays Foundation observed the 10th anniversary of the Flint Hills Resources Wildlife Learning Preserve next to the company’s West Plant today.
“Flint Hills Resources is committed to environmental stewardship on many fronts,” said Phil Gaarder, vice president of manufacturing and refinery manager for Flint Hills Resources. “It’s not just our efforts to operate efficiently, use fewer resources and reduce emissions. We also support environmental education and this Wildlife Learning Preserve plays an important role in providing the community with a valuable wetlands education area that is being preserved for future generations."
For the past 10 years, the 120-acre tract has been managed to protect and enhance wildlife, bird and plant habitat. It also serves as a wetland educational center for students and volunteers from the Texas State Aquarium, various school groups and the Flint Hills Resources Community Action Council.
“Flint Hills Resources’ generous donation and ongoing maintenance of the learning preserve is undoubtedly a treasure for our area, “said Ray Allen, executive director for the Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program. “Our organization’s goal of protecting and preserving the bay and estuarine environment is enhanced by this site. We appreciate the Flint Hills Resources employees’ commitment and their support of environmental education.”
The preserve is protected by a conservation easement granted by Flint Hills Resources to the Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program/Coastal Bend Land Trust in 2001; it was the first of its kind in the Coastal Bend. It is part of a 216-acre tract the company purchased from the Driscoll Foundation in 1992.
Flint Hills Resources established an environmental conservation management program in 1998. The preserve is the only one in Nueces County that has earned certification for Wildlife at Work program (2001) and Corporate Lands for Learning (2007) through the international Wildlife Habitat Council. Recently, Community Action Council volunteers established a butterfly garden with Texas plants.
The preserve consists of coastal marshes, fresh water ponds, upland grasses, mudflats and mesquite brush land. This diverse habitat provides fresh water, forage and shelter for wildlife including coyotes, gray foxes, white tailed deer, raccoons, opossums, and more than 50 bird species.
The Wildlife Learning Preserve educational and community partners include the Flint Hills Resources Community Action Council, Robstown High School, Tuloso-Midway Intermediate Campus, Texas State Aquarium – Sea Campers, Texas Parks and Wildlife, Corpus Christi Community Advisory Council, Coastal Bend Bays Foundation and Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program/Coastal Bend Land Trust.
About Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program
The Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries program is a non-profit organization, which is dedicated to the conservation and responsible use of freshwater, estuarine, wetland habitat, and other natural resources through creation, restoration, enhancement and/or acquisition.
About Flint Hills Resources
Flint Hills Resources is an independent refining and chemicals company that employs about 1,000 people in the Coastal Bend. The company, based in Wichita, Kan., has expanded its operations through capital projects and acquisitions worth more than $5.3 billion since 2002. www.fhr.com