Roanoke Cement Sponsors Trout Education
Roanoke Cement Company released 350 rainbow trout into a manmade quarry pond on their site on March 20, in recognition of its new relationship with Trout Unlimited, a national organization dedicated to conserve, protect and restore North America’s trout and salmon fisheries and their watersheds.
"This important sponsorship complements recent strides to improve our environmental footprint within the Roanoke Valley community," says Robert Sells, president of the Mid-Atlantic Business Unit. "Our corporate social responsibility value is exemplified by this commitment."
Roanoke Cement Company has committed to provide funding for a grassroots program to raise awareness on preserving valuable watershed resources. The Trout Unlimited "Trout In the Classroom" program allows middle to high school students to observe trout growth in an aquarium setting in their classrooms. Starting in September and continuing through April, the students bear the responsibility of "babysitting" or providing the vulnerable fish with everything they need to live.
The students raise the trout from eggs to fingerlings, monitoring water tank quality and engaging in a stream habitat study while realizing the goals of appreciating water resources, fostering a conservation ethic and understanding ecosystem connectivity. The mature fish are then released back into nature in the spring—a perfect adjunct to Roanoke Cement Company’s clean water efforts.
"We are really excited by Roanoke Cement Company’s investment in the program," says Jack Ward, president of the Roanoke Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited. "This will enable three local schools to complete the ‘In the Classroom’ program this year and help target 16 additional schools next year." This year, Hidden Valley Middle School, Roanoke Catholic Middle School and Glenvar High School are the beneficiaries of the program.
Roanoke Cement Company has a long-standing water and land management program at the Troutville plant. For example, every year for the last four years, the plant has held the "Catawba Creek Cleanup," a spring Saturday morning gathering of employees and local residents who walk the banks of surrounding Catawba Creek policing the stream. Part of the creek is located on the Roanoke Cement campus and the company has adopted this annual ritual to ensure the area is kept pristine.
The program requires that streams and estuaries considered for fish release to be cold, clean and possess sufficient water quality. The quarry pond easily met these requirements. Roanoke Cement Company is a subsidiary of Titan America LLC headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia.