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Helping the environment shine in Michigan

April 22, 2019

We donate and volunteer our time with environmental organization Friends of the Rouge

One of our community engagement pillars concentrates on initiatives and programs that focus on the world’s environment—we believe it’s important to protect our ecosystems and promote sustainable development. March 22 marked World Water Day; a day that highlights the undeniable importance of freshwater on our lives—something Stantec cares deeply about.

In Michigan, there is an organization called Friends of the Rouge that restores, protects, and enhances the Rouge River in the southeast. Stantec has been supporting them through our Rouge Education Project Spring Monitoring event for the past three years. With the Education Project, students learn about the Rouge River in a classroom setting then get to experience and carry out hands-on science experiments in and around the river itself. Andrew Ferenc, Senior Environmental Designer in our Farmington Hills, Michigan office supports these efforts by gathering a group of employees for the spring monitoring event. 

“The Rouge Education Project goes to more than 20 elementary, junior high, and high schools in the area a couple times of year,” Andrew said. “Through the schools, we organize a spring monitoring day where volunteers, students, and teachers go out to the areas near their schools that are a tributary or main branch of the river for the day.” Once there, they collect data on the river: testing nitrates, looking for bugs, identifying what plants are growing around the river, and doing some basic clean up.

“Whether the groups are out in the water testing river velocity, or collecting bugs on land, we assist however we can.” Andrew said. “We’ve taken out some basic water quality testing equipment we’d use in the field to show the kids what kind of tools we use.” 

The Rouge River watershed is 467 square miles and has over a million people living in the area. Friends of the Rouge is the main organization that is dedicated to the clean up and restoration of the river. Supporting programs like this aligns with Stantec’s vision and values. “Promoting environmental improvements to watersheds, management of water, and energy resources is important,” Andrew said. “I think it’s also important for our office to give back to the community—we like to support these educational initiatives and promote the STEM field.”

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