For almost 20 years, our state-of-the-art Technology Center in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, has created a refuge for migratory pollinators. Originally in partnership with the Wildlife Habitat Council, we created a wildflower plot that has blossomed into a sanctuary for many species of butterflies and bees. The popularity of the habitat among our employees has inspired the growth of a second project beyond the Technology Center to the larger community, which enjoys a blue bird trail, bee blocks and reforestation projects.
We have broadened our efforts by partnering with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and other stakeholders to create more monarch waystations in locations near our major facilities. These waystations are gardens with native wildflowers, including the milkweed, where the monarchs rest. The
Monarch Watch, a leading organization in this space, provided milkweed plants to the NRPA to distribute to local parks. NRPA is working with park and recreation agencies across the United States in creating habitats, educating park professionals about the monarch butterfly, and involving Phillips 66 employees in planting butterfly gardens in their communities. Over the coming years, these gardens will contain milkweed plants critical to successful monarch breeding, restoring monarch habitat and supporting the renewal of the population.
Our partnerships extend to water and classrooms environments, too. We are partnering with the Dewey [Oklahoma] Public School System to build an aquaponics center and outdoor classroom and conservation curriculum. Aquaponics are ecosystems that include water, aquatic animal and plant life. The Dewey aquaponics center will be located inside the current greenhouse and will save over 90 percent of its water, as students learn about fish cultivating, environmental science and botany. The aquaponics system will transform the greenhouse into a balanced ecosystem. Fish tank water will gain nutrients from fish waste, which will fertilize the greenhouse plants. Plants will remove the nutrients from the water where it will return purified to the fish tank. Our expertise in water quality allows us to improve education opportunities along with environmental sustainability.