Ford employee Mary Mason, who works at the Ford River Rouge Complex in Dearborn, Michigan, has taken up the task of tending to tens of thousands of honeybees right outside the complex. Honeybee populations have been steadily declining for decades, and Mason hopes to combat the decline by supporting the more than 80,000 bees installed in two beehives on the grounds of the Rouge plant.
Factors such as Colony Collapse Disorder, pesticides, and parasites have had serious negative effects on US honeybees, one of our vital pollinating species. Ford is working with Mason to further its wildlife habitat strategy, which over the last 15 years has turned the Rouge Complex from a plain gray building to a place where nature thrives.
The Heritage 2000 Program started Ford’s environmental initiatives, where they brought in a sustainability designer to make over the complex. Because the complex already has flowering crabapple trees on their grounds, it seemed like a perfect fit for the honeybees.
The Ford complex honeybees were introduced to the orchard thirteen years ago, and Mason, who brought some of her own bees in as well, has volunteered to take care of them for the last three. Mason shared that the die-off rate of bees in Michigan is 60 to 70%, and she’s glad for the chance to care for the bees in a pesticide-free environment.
Ford Fund will invest $5 million in a struggling Detroit neighborhood to build a community center and create education opportunities. Ford Fund is Ford Motor Company’s philanthropic arm and has made investments of over $161 million in area communities over the last 10 years.
The Ford Fund investment in Detroit will launch a second Ford Resource and Engagement Center in conjunction with Detroit Public Schools and the Detroit Public Schools Foundation. The center will be housed at Fisher Magnet Upper Academy on the east side of the city and will give better access to educational materials and other essential services for area children and adults.
In addition to providing information access and services, the Ford Resource and Engagement Center will do its best to meet community needs by providing programs asked for by residents of the surrounding neighborhoods, including job training programs, cultural and art services, and food distribution.
The first Detroit Ford Resource and Engagement Center is located on the southwest side in Mexicantown Mercado and has helped more than 80,000 residents. The original center offers services such as preparing tax returns and giving more than 1.2 million pounds of food. Ford says the return on investment for the community is $3 for every $1 spent on the programs by Ford.
The new center is due to open in early 2017 and will be managed by the Detroit Public Schools Foundation.