Catlettsburg, Ky,
04:45 PM

MPC Commemorates Arbor Day the Right Way

Several Marathon Petroleum Corporation organizations took advantage of the warmer weather this year to do their part to support environmental stewardship within their local footprint and educate community members on environmental topics. This is the second in a four-part series highlighting ways MPC demonstrates its commitment to the world around us. The first two parts can be found here and here.

More than 160 years ago, J. Sterling Morton moved his family from Detroit to what was then known as the Nebraska Territory. As a newspaper editor, Morton began to stress the importance of trees in terms of providing food, building materials, windbreaks, shade and beauty to the landscape.

Eventually, Morton’s advocacy led to an annual tree-planting initiative known as Arbor Day, an observance that has since spread across the nation. Employees at the Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC) Marine Repair Facility (MRF) in Catlettsburg, Ky., continued that tradition, planting about 150 trees on their grounds.

“Over the past year, we’ve been working toward establishing a wildlife habitat at the north end of the property and had created a walking trail that encompasses a half-mile loop on a hilltop above the Ohio River,” notes MPC employee Carla Mings, who along with HES&S Manager Amie Greiner, coordinated the tree-planting and related initiatives.

Originally, the event was slated as part of a global environmental celebration, Earth Day, which happened to fall two days earlier. Unfortunately, the weather put a damper on their plans, which included a cookout to collect donations. “It was 40 degrees and raining, affecting the turnout,” explains Mings. “Plus, the tree seedlings hadn’t yet arrived.”

Yet that didn’t stop the quick-thinking planners. The seedlings arrived from the Kentucky Department of Forestry, and there was plenty of food left from Earth Day. They could commemorate Arbor Day the next day in the way it was meant to be observed – by planting trees. After all, they had some achievements to celebrate, including the establishment of a walking trail, hitting the 45-ton milestone in their office-waste recycling initiative, and the formal kickoff of their Wildlife Habitat Program.

Arbor Day dawned beautifully. After lunch, employee volunteers took to the walking trail, planting seedlings of trees indigenous to the area – Black Walnut, Mockernut Hickory, Northern Red Oak, White Oak and White Pine.

Funds raised from the cookouts will go toward further enhancement of the walking trail. “We plan to add some picnic tables and cooler stands so employees can better enjoy the trail at lunch,” says Mings. “It is important to set aside undeveloped land for nature’s use and to allow our employees to step back, relax and enjoy it, too.”