Helping All Communities

August 13, 2020

FirstEnergy employees are passionate about pollinators. Let’s take a look!​

Birds, bees and other pollinating species are critical to sustaining our ecosystems and producing natural resources by helping plants reproduce. To help expand the number of habitats available to these valuable creatures, FirstEnergy employees have been working to create pollinator gardens at various company locations. The design of each garden is as unique as the employees who planted it.

According to Kandi Dugan, clerk senior, JCP&L, developing a pollinator garden at the Flemington Line Shop was a personal endeavor. Featuring butterfly milkweed, coneflowers, catmint and various other plants, the garden is located along the front drive to the line shop. In addition to helping protect pollinators, it enabled Kandi to share her love of gardening with coworkers.

“I have been growing a variety of plants and vegetables at my house for many years, and I recently created my own pollinator garden and started a beehive,” said Kandi. “In addition to increasing the number of pollinators in the area, the beehive also provides me with fresh honey.”

Kandi thanked those involved in the project, including the local leadership team, Regional Facilities and the Forestry group for supplying the logs used to frame the garden.

Michele Gervasi, supervisor, Regional Meter Reading, adding a finishing touch.

The finished garden.

Gardening in Greensburg

For Amanda Habershaw, manager, Governance, Permitting & Environmental Services, creating pollinator gardens is important for its educational value. In addition to the garden she recently helped plant at the Greensburg (Pa.) Corporate Center, Amanda has assisted with the development of several other gardens around Westmoreland County – many of them at schools and cultural facilities where the public can enjoy them.

“I wish this type of learning opportunity existed when I was a kid,” said Amanda. “The pollinator gardens we create at schools are planted by the students, so they get first-hand knowledge about the purpose of the gardens and why they are important to the ecosystem. I’m glad my kids are able to participate in this fun and educational activity.”

Amanda added: “We received a lot of help and support from John Rea, West Penn Power Regional president, and Greensburg Facilities employees Tom Dohey, Ed Jones, Dave Mocniak, Pete Pizzutelli and Mason Megahan. We couldn’t have completed this project without them.”​

(Left) Exercising their green thumbs are, l.-r.: Bill Coughlin, Alexandra Bigler (pouring soil), Savannah Willis (back), Shaniah Chilton-Weathers, Anthony Fallucco and Caleb Tousley. (Right) Alexandra Bigler (l.) and Bill Coughlin (r.) planting flowers.

Akron Employees Develop Green Thumbs

Fairlawn Contact Center employees recently created a pollinator garden as part of a companywide Corporate Responsibility Task Force initiative that began building momentum late last year. The garden features native Ohio perennials – such as butterfly milkweed, blue false indigo and black-eyed Susan – and is located behind Building 0 in the Fairlawn complex.

“Our team is very passionate about these types of initiatives,” said Nathan Edwards, supervisor, Fairlawn Customer Contact Center. “Pollinator gardens are important because they benefit the ecosystem in addition to giving natural pollinators a steady supply of food and nectar so they can continue pollinating crops.”