Media Contact: Mary-Angela Hardwick
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The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay Recognizes Octoraro Native Plant Nursery, Inc. as a Businesses For The Bay Founding Gold Member
(Annapolis, MD – February 21, 2018) – The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay recognizes Octoraro Native Plant Nursery, Inc. as a Businesses for the Bay Founding Gold Member. Octoraro Native Plant Nursery renewed their membership with a growing partnership of large and small businesses in the Chesapeake Bay watershed that are undertaking voluntary actions to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed, rivers, and streams.
The Businesses for the Bay membership association provides a network for its Members to share strategies and successes with other businesses and governmental and non-profit Networking Partners, as well as opportunities to engage employees in environmental efforts, and receive recognition for the valuable role each Member is taking to help improve the environment. As a Founding Gold Member, the Alliance recognizes Octoraro Native Plant Nursery for its commitment to Chesapeake Bay protection and restoration.
The Octoraro Native Plant Nursery is a wholesale grower of mid-Atlantic and Northeast native trees and shrubs, supplying plants and forestry products for environmental restoration and conservation projects. In fact, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay purchases many of our materials, native plants, and trees that we plant throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed, from this highly recommended nursery.
The nursery utilizes numerous sustainable business practices in its operation to help mitigate impacts to the environment and improve the water quality and natural resources of the Octoraro Watershed. The Octoraro Creek is one of only two water courses that flow directly to the Chesapeake Bay below the Conowingo Dam.
It is their belief that water is our most valuable natural resource. The nursery uses drip irrigation technology that uses 75% to 80% less water compared to traditional overhead irrigation. Water is applied directly to the root zone and is computer-controlled to deliver the optimal amount for growth, without excess. This practice also decreases the amount of water that runs off the property. What water does flow from the nursery and neighboring agricultural lands is diverted into created wetlands, or their “local water quality improvement facility”, where native plants absorb excess nutrients prior to discharge back to the Octoraro Creek.
This is part of 14 acres of floodplain and riparian habitat that is planted and maintained with native plants that provide wildlife habitat and riparian vegetation along Octoraro Creek. Along with the created wetlands, a ¼ mile stream restoration site help controls stormwater runoff, decrease streambank erosion, and provides shade for the stream ecology. Non-native, invasive plant species are controlled in this area, including Japanese hops, Multiflora rose, mile-a-minute, and Japanese honeysuckle.
The Octoraro Native Plant Nursery decreases their use of plastic by collecting and reusing approximately 55,000 used plant containers from their customers and unusable containers are recycled for electricity generation. They also recycle poly film covering from 13 greenhouses for use in the plastic lumber industry.
Other conservation activities include reduced energy use by operating electric utility vehicles and the use of passive lighting and low-energy LED lights in their new office. They use local compost materials in their soil mixture. The company strongly believes in and advocates for environmental education and donates plants to students and other organizations for conservation projects.
Jim MacKenzie, Octoraro Native Plant Nursery President, noted, “Since our inception, we have taken measures in our day-to-day operations to protect the natural resources of the Octoraro Watershed and the Chesapeake Bay. Businesses for the Bay provides an opportunity to share these strategies with other progressive industry leaders and begin to quantify the impacts of these measures. We’re excited to be a part of this program and believe it has some tremendous upside for the private sector to show how it’s contributing to water quality and other community and health benefits throughout the region.”
Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay Business Partnerships Manager, Corinne Stephens, stated, “Through the Alliance’s Businesses for the Bay membership association, we help businesses to have a positive impact on Chesapeake Bay restoration, to expand their own sustainability programs, and to be recognized for their environmental successes.”
For more information about this Businesses for the Bay Founding Gold Member, please visit our Member Directory or https://businesses.allianceforthebay.org/member/octoraro-native-plant-nursery.
About The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay
Founded in 1971, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, with headquarters in Annapolis, Maryland and offices in Richmond, Virginia, and Lancaster, Pennsylvania, works throughout the Bay watershed to lead, support and inspire local action and build partnerships with individuals, communities, governments, businesses and other groups to restore the Bay watershed and its forests, rivers and streams. For more information about the Alliance, visit: allianceforthebay.org
For more information about the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay’s Businesses for the Bay membership association, please visit: businesses.allianceforthebay.org or click here to read the 2016 Businesses for the Bay Annual Report.