July 28, 2023 – Leading up to the main entrance of Haworth’s headquarters, billowing ornamental grasses, stretches of manicured lawn, a pond and carefully tended flowerbeds create a welcoming atmosphere. It’s what might be expected from a corporate campus. But there is something unexpected – a fox also trots through the area.
As part of Haworth’s corporate responsibility mission, the company is coordinating with ODC Conservation Services on a multi-phased project, including converting several areas of overgrown turfgrass and existing lawn into native prairie species. Beyond the beautiful landscaping, Haworth’s campus grounds now consist of native grasses and wildflowers, creating an environmentally friendly ecosystem, as part of a commitment to green building and sustainable site management objectives. The environmental benefits of promoting the establishment of high-value, native prairie plant species include reducing lawn care maintenance, creating habitat for wildlife, providing green space for people to enjoy and absorbing rain to reduce water runoff.
“We’re pleased with the results and look forward to continued progress toward improving the biodiversity on our site,” said Jeff Jennings, Haworth’s Facilities Project Manager.
Haworth employees have reported seeing that fox in the tall grasses and taking a dip in the pond. Rabbits, deer, muskrats, skunks, woodchucks, possums and racoons have been spotted. This habitat is also important for bees, butterflies and other pollinators.
Haworth's corporate groundskeeping crew has cut back vegetation and administered herbicide applications, being careful to disturb the soil as little as possible to reduce the development and spread of invasive plant seeds and root systems. “Restoration in Progress” signage has also been placed along the highway to explain receding grass. Rye and oats were seeded as a cover crop to help retain soil moisture, prevent erosion and improve soil quality. Dormant seeding of native prairie grasses and wildflowers also took place so the property should see higher levels of germination. It will take approximately three years for the prairie growth to become fully established.
“What I love about this is the scale,” said Travis Williams, Chief Executive Officer of ODC Network. “Haworth is involved with Project Clarity to remediate the 175 square miles of local watershed but knows they can make a difference in their own landscaping too.”
For more information on Haworth’s sustainability journey, visit the company’s Corporate Responsibility Report. Video of the fox is also available.
Haworth helps create inspirational spaces. As a leading global furniture maker, the company is steeped in workplace expertise that fuels innovative designs for optimal performance. Haworth is a values-driven, family company with an entrepreneurial spirit and a design-forward approach. As a multicultural organization, the company embraces the strength that comes from diversity of thought. At Haworth, we believe great spaces empower people to thrive. Founded in 1948, Haworth operates in more than 150 countries through a global network of 400 dealers and 8,000 employees. Headquartered in Holland, Michigan, U.S.A, the company has sales of $2.5 billion USD.
Photo credits: first photo of One Haworth Center is courtesy of ODC. Second and third photos of wildflowers and sign is courtesy of Haworth. Fox video is courtesy of Haworth