Fermilab receives platinum-level recognition for commitment to ecological restoration

The Commission on Excellence in Ecological Restoration has recognized Fermilab with a Chicago Wilderness Excellence in Ecological Restoration Award.

Following an application and a visit to Fermilab, the commission scored Fermilab on a number of areas: its commitment to restoring the high-quality natural areas to their fullest potential, volunteer efforts by the nonprofit organization Fermilab Natural Areas, and education and outreach.

Fermilab’s score places the preserve in the platinum tier of the program.

The commission was impressed with the lab’s knowledgeable staff, their work and its dedication to helping protect, restore and maintain one of Chicago Wilderness’s significant natural areas. Fermilab Natural Areas has been a critical component of the ecological work on the Fermilab site. The organization provides interns during the summer and fall, conducts community outreach, recruits volunteers and obtain grants to conduct additional restoration activities.¬†FNA volunteers collect native seed, manage invasive species, and monitor plant and animal populations.

On Nov. 14, DOE NEPA Compliance Officer Rick Hersemann, Fermilab Ecologist Wally Levernier and DOE Fermi Site Office Operations Division Manager John Scott attended an award ceremony at the Chicago Botanic Garden. It was held in conjunction with the Dr. George B. Rabb Force of Nature Awards and a Chicago Wilderness Membership Appreciation Event.

Chicago Wilderness is a regional alliance leading strategy to preserve, improve, and expand nature and quality of life.

Fermilab is funded by the Department of Energy Office of Science.

Fermilab has received the Chicago Wilderness Excellence in Ecological Restoration Award. Photo: Wally Levernier, Fermilab