WHITEHOUSE, OH - A team of 26 employees at BASF's coatings technical-support center in Whitehouse, OH, are working to attract bluebirds and other wildlife to the facility's 20-acre site, in partnership with the Wildlife Habitat Council's "Wildlife at Work" program.

The team of volunteers has built bluebird boxes outside the center's offices and has begun work on a new project - establishing a formal wildflower garden to introduce native plants to the site property. The Whitehouse site is located on the eastern fringe of an area called the "Oak Openings" region in northern Ohio, where numerous opportunities for habitat projects are said to exist.

Following a detailed site assessment, members of the BASF wildlife team prepared a wildlife management plan that encompasses the company's 20-acre property.

"We began building bird boxes this winter and currently have two nesting families - one bluebird and one chickadee," said Karla Snyder, Industrial Hygiene/Product Steward associate for the company and organizer of the Wildlife at Work team. "We are currently working on establishing a wildflower garden with plants native to the Oak Openings region."

About 140 people work at BASF's Whitehouse site, which includes coatings laboratories, a customer service center and an applications training center.

Karl Schnapp, BASF Whitehouse Site manager, said the wildlife project is a reflection of BASF's "sustainable development" strategy, which is aimed at balancing economic-growth objectives with social needs and environmental management.

Created in 1988, the Wildlife Habitat Council helps large landowners, particularly corporations, manage their unused lands in an ecologically sensitive manner for the benefit of wildlife.