LEMONT, Ill., July 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The CITGO Lemont refinery recently sponsored a clean-up day at the Lemont Heritage Quarry. The event saw more than 150 volunteers from CITGO, the Lemont Township High School and the surrounding community—who came out to remove invasive species, plant native species and clear trails in Lemont's historic natural resource. This is the second CITGO sponsored clean-up day in the last year, a partnership which CITGO hopes will eventually return the Lemont Heritage Quarry to a beautiful and useful public recreation area.

"We are privileged to be working with CITGO on this restoration project," said Lemont Mayor Brian Reaves. "The Quarry is located within walking distance of our downtown, so cleaning it up would provide a major attraction for our village. It is our hope that a long-term partnership will eventually restore all 100 acres of the quarry into a public area for walking, jogging, biking and many other recreational activities. This event illustrates the CITGO Lemont Refinery's continual willingness to care for our environment and give back to the communities in which it operates."

Dating back to the construction of the Illinois and Michigan Canal, the Lemont Quarries are rich in history. Thirty-eight buildings in downtown Lemont were built from the limestone excavated at the Quarries. The area also provides critical habitats for a number of plants and animals and has the potential to be a recreational mecca for the community. Unfortunately, the pervasiveness of vegetative plants has made the site inaccessible to the public. Every year, the Village of Lemont spends tens of thousands of dollars just to keep invasive species at bay.

In order to conduct the restoration in a responsible way, CITGO consulted experts with the Wildlife Habitat Council and hired outside contractors to assist with cleanup. Students from Lemont Township High School were trained on how to recognize the various plant types and helped lead volunteers in the cleanup effort. To date, CITGO, in partnership with the community, have cleared more than three acres of the Quarry.

"The Lemont Quarry Restoration Project represents our commitment to being a responsible corporate citizen and improving the lives of those who are part of the communities in which we operate," said Nelson P. Martinez, CITGO President and CEO. "Business and community are coming together in pursuit of one common goal: to preserve and revive this historic site and the environment we share."

The Lemont Quarry Restoration Project is only one in a series of habitat restoration projects CITGO has embarked on this year. In the southern part of the country, CITGO continues its Caring for Our Coast initiative designed to extend the company's ongoing commitment to environmental protection and restoration leading into the 10th anniversary of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in August and September of this year. So far this year, this initiative has included coastal and wetlands restoration efforts, beach cleanups, and marine education programs.

The CITGO Lemont Refinery employs more than 800 local residents on a full-time and contract basis in support of the local economy. While Lemont refinery employees produce high quality fuels for a large portion of the network of nearly 6,000 locally owned CITGO stations across the country, they also make a major positive impact on the community. Each year more than 2,500 volunteer hours and thousands of dollars are given in support of community programs such as Muscular Dystrophy Association, United Way and a variety of environmental and preservation programs. For more information on the CITGO Lemont Refinery, visit www.citgorefining.com/Lemont.

CITGO is a Houston-based refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. The company is owned by CITGO Holding, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information, visit www.citgo.com.


SOURCE CITGO Petroleum Corporation