We will develop a flexible scientific protocol to study restoration and biodiversity monitoring sites in partnership with local educational institutions. This protocol will expand on HeidelbergCement’s biodiversity indicators for successful reconstruction projects. We will demonstrate the utility and effectiveness of this rapid assessment protocol by undertaking a pilot study focused on assessing habitat extent and quality as proxies of restoration effectiveness. Specifically, we will study how the company-led restoration of the Haines Branch Creek at Lehigh Cement in Union Bridge, Maryland has influenced habitat quality via effects on organism health, the use of the site by wildlife, and the restoration of ecological interactions. The completed protocol will provide HeidelbergCement with a portable template to partner with local educational institutions to undertake biodiversity monitoring and assess restoration effectiveness, including site-specific Biodiversity Action Plans. At Haines Branch, the pilot study will be implemented by three science classes from McDaniel College. The study will combine a community-based “BioBlitz” day to create a site species list, as well as a springtime camera trap study of local wildlife, studies of plant-pollinator observations, and measures of organismal health. This scientific protocol can be modified to suit the needs of HeidelbergCement and its educational partners across sites undergoing restoration or being managed for biodiversity.

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