In the Weeds with EQT ~
In April 2023, an exciting new partnership was formed between the Wheeling Park Commission (WPC) and EQT Corporation that will further sustain the parks’ environmental sustainability initiatives. EQT, the nation’s largest producer of natural gas, is helping the parks with a forest management project that spans more than 1,000 acres of natural wooded areas on the perimeters of Oglebay and Wheeling Park.
“We are excited to take this first step in a partnership with EQT as the center of knowledge for forest improvements and soil health,” said WPC President and CEO Bob Peckenpaugh. This initiative will reduce or remove emissions of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to offset other operational emissions and advance EQT’s efforts to reach net-zero greenhouse gas-emissions by 2025. “Nature-based projects like this advance our mission to deliver cheaper, more reliable, cleaner, energy to the world.”
The partnership is implementing Conservation Practice Standards (CPS) outlined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and will align to Verra guidelines to ensure the effectiveness of emissions reductions and removals. EQT is removing invasive species including autmn olive, privet and oriental bittersweet. Once the land is cleared, EQT is replanting the areas with a variety of native species including American chestnut, black walnut, sycamore, aspen, red oak, white oak, black locust, yellow poplar, red maple, sugar maple, serviceberry, and hawthorn trees. This incredible biodiversity will re-establish acres of hardwood trees that will attract songbirds and other wildlife.
Measuring Soil Health
Teralytic, a soil analytics company, uses advanced soil probe technology to measure the impact on soil health from the forest management project with EQT Corporation. Teralytic probes provide real-time measurements of soil carbon, soil moisture and other vital soil nutrients. EQT has also partnered with Wheeling Country Day School to pilot an educational learning program that allows students to learn about soil health by monitoring the real-time changes in the health of the soil, 24 hours a day.