Canadian Manufacturing

Algoma Steel partners with Sault College on site-greening initiative

by CM Staff   

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Algoma has developed a comprehensive site-greening plan for the 120-year-old steelworks.

SAULT STE. MARIE — Algoma Steel Group Inc., a manufacturer of hot and cold rolled steel sheet and plate products, and Sault College announced on Oct. 13 that their collaboration on Algoma’s site-greening initiative has taken root with a team of Sault College Forest Technician – Conservation Program students attending on site to plant upwards of 2,000 seedlings that they grew this year in the Sault College greenhouse.

On Oct. 12, nineteen second-year Sault College students planted the seedlings on the wind berm along the St. Mary’s River, a 2.2-acre stretch that buffers the wind from the coal piles. A mix of red oak, eastern white cedar, jack pine, white pine, red pine, white spruce, and willow seedlings are being introduced to the area where biosolids were previously placed to augment the soil and facilitate the propagation of ground cover.

Through collaboration with experts and community partners like Sault College, Algoma has developed a comprehensive site-greening plan for the 120-year-old steelworks. The plan is to create naturalized green buffer strips along the perimeter of the site, by introducing soils, creating seasonal surface water ponding areas, and vegetating with select native plants and tree species.

“The collaboration between Sault College and Algoma provides our students an experiential learning opportunity that allowed them to see their efforts, from seed stratification to sowing to tending to the subsequent planting of the seedlings, come full circle. Algoma’s Site Greening Initiative is an industry leading example of a long-term commitment to improving the overall environment in and around the steel plant. This experience not only helped our students to appreciate the realities of industrial steelmaking but also to see first-hand the importance of an initiative and commitment, such as this,” said Adam Hodgson, Natural Environment Professor. “The growing and planting of these seedlings will contribute to the creation of resilient, biologically diverse green mosaics enhancing the quality of water runoff while also capturing and reducing the local effects of airborne dust particles. The benefits are far reaching, and this was truly an unforgettable experience for the students.”

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