Last month, Wolverine completed the excavation work it began last fall at the site of its former Tannery in Rockford.  As described here, this work included the removal of several areas of sediments, soils, leather scraps, and hides from the Tannery site, the adjacent White Pine Trail, and the banks of the Rogue River.  We ended up excavating approximately 23,000 tons of material (around 11,600 cubic yards) from the site, sending 835 truckloads to an approved off-site landfill.

Beginning the week of April 20, Wolverine’s EPA-approved environmental contractor will return to perform necessary site restoration work under EPA oversight.  This includes placing clean topsoil, grading the site to promote proper drainage, seeding the site and the banks of the Rogue River with native grasses, installing erosion control devices, and repaving the White Pine Trail.  These activities are part of the remediation agreed upon by Wolverine and the EPA, and are needed to protect Rogue River water quality and prevent possible shoreline erosion.

This work is expected to take three to four weeks, and the White Pine Trail will be closed and re-routed for a portion of this time.  While this work is taking place, all workers will use appropriate safety protocols to address COVID-19 risk and comply with Governor Whitmer’s executive order, which authorizes environmental response work like this to proceed with these safeguards in place.

Sometime later this year, we anticipate supplementing the seeding taking place over the next three to four weeks with cuttings and plugs of similar native species.  The mix type will include grasses such as little bluestem and flowering species such as New England aster and black-eyed Susan, along with a variety of trees.  The deep root systems of these types of native plants have the ability to provide protection from erosion and can reduce water run-off.  In addition, native plants do not require the use of fertilizers and provide habitat and food for wildlife.

We are committed to limiting the impact of these restoration activities on neighboring residents, surrounding businesses, and the community as a whole, and will continue to keep the community informed through regular updates on this blog, www.WeAreWolverine.com, and through information posted at kiosks and in other locations accessible to the public.

As always, residents with questions are encouraged to contact Wolverine directly at HouseStreet@wwwinc.com or (616) 866-5627.