Sharing the Shade


Employees with a tree they plantedVolunteers from Ingredion's Westchester, Ill. headquarters and Argo, our largest manufacturing facility in Bedford Park, Ill., planted 28 trees in a local park across the street from the plant. The Bedford Park District sponsored the event with trees provided by The Morton Arboretum to enhance the canopy cover in the village to give shade and provide ecological and sustainable benefits to the area.

Twenty-two volunteers planted a variety of nine tree species around the Bedford Park District's Swanson Center, a community center with baseball fields, playgrounds, and a picnic area adjacent to a local elementary school. Planting a diverse variety of tree species helps ensure a strong tree canopy that is resilient to pests and other threats as the trees mature. "This event was a great opportunity for us to help provide an even better place for future generations, which is what sustainability is all about," said Kimberly Peterson, director of global environmental affairs, who helped coordinate the event within the Company. "Being able to put our purpose into action to make life better was inspiring."

Ingredion's (formerly Corn Products) history has been entwined with Bedford Park since the beginning when the Argo plant was constructed in the early 1900s. The plant provided new job opportunities, and soon the area began including homes built to house the foremen working at Argo. The location was named after E.T. Bedford, the president of Corn Products at the time of the area's initial growth. Today, while most of the village is still used for industrial land, approximately 600 residents call it home.

"Ingredion is such an integral part of the community, and we were proud to help improve an area near the Argo plant," said Katie Smothers, senior sustainability manager. "We have not had many opportunities for in-person activities since the pandemic, and this was a lovely way for people to give back to our community."

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