SIMI HILLS, Calif. — Boeing’s Santa Susana Field Laboratory in Southern California, once a rocket engine testing and energy research facility for the federal government, recently received the Wildlife Habitat Council’s prestigious Corporate Lands for Learning(tm) certification for providing public wildlife habitat preservation and restoration education programs.
The Wildlife Habitat Council, which works with corporations and conservation organizations to create wildlife habitat enhancement education programs, presented the award to Boeing at the council’s 24th Annual Symposium Nov. 8 in Baltimore. Md.
“Santa Susana employees may take pride in knowing that they have made an important contribution to conservation education,” said Margaret O’Gorman, president of the Wildlife Habitat Council, noting Santa Susana’s educational programs showcase the site’s unique human, natural and technological history.
The certification affirms the site’s numerous educational opportunities that highlight wildlife conservation including:
- Avian studies through the San Fernando Valley Audubon Society’s bird counting and banding program
- Wildlife habitat protection and California native plant restoration
- Frequent guided bus and walking tours for community members, environmental groups, elected officials and reporters
- Community events and children’s programs that highlight pollinator habitats
- Santa Susana specific curriculum taught by local colleges and universities
Santa Susana features oak woodlands, rare plants, sandstone formations, abundant wildlife and a history rich in Native American cultural heritage. A transformation is underway at the 2,850-acre site as it evolves from a legacy of testing and research toward a future as open space benefiting the community.
“Most people are aware of the site’s significant role in the historical research of rocket engine propulsion development and energy research,” said Tom Gallacher, Boeing site director, Santa Susana Field Laboratory. “What surprises most people is that this site is a key habitat for a variety of native plants, flowers and wildlife.”
Santa Susana Field Laboratory was a rocket engine and energy research site started by the federal government in 1950 as the United States began its national space program. The site was critical to rocket engine testing that supported nearly every major space program in U.S. history, from the earliest satellites through the Space Shuttle.
Once cleanup on Boeing’s property is complete, Santa Susana will create one of the few remaining wildlife corridors in Southern California, connecting the Sierra Madre ranges to the Santa Monica Mountains and the Pacific Ocean.