You have to hand it to city of West Des Moines planners for anticipating all things natural when they created a development plan for Wells Fargo & Co.'s campus near Jordan Creek and Mills Civic parkways.

 

The city staff is recommending that the Plan and Zoning Commission approve an amendment to a document called the Wells Fargo West Des Moines Campus Specific Plan that would allow Wells Fargo to dig a 1,600-square-foot garden and erect a 55-foot pole to accommodate nesting ospreys.

 

The ospreys, which are somewhat aloof by nature, took a liking to the remote heights a construction crane offered this spring as crews worked on a $100 million expansion to the Wells Fargo campus.

 

Mike Cooper, senior project manager for The Weitz Co., which was the general contractor on the project, said the ospreys would leave a few fish heads around the site, leftovers from their preferred diet, and would ride the boom of the crane as it moved around.

 

Otherwise, they did not interfere with construction, he said.

 

Apparently the ospreys were such good neighbors that Wells Fargo wants them back.

 

The company hopes that a man-made nest -- also called a hack box -- will serve as a welcome mat.

 

"We have worked in conjunction with the (Iowa Department of Natural Resources) to define a substitute structure that could be located on our grounds to attract the migratory birds back for the next nesting season," Kathy Murphy, a Wells Fargo community affairs officer and vice president, said in an email.

 

The nest pole would be located on the east side of the southwest parking lot.

 

Murphy said the garden would allow Wells Fargo employees to grow food that will be distributed through Des Moines Area Religious Council food banks and the Food Bank of Iowa.

 

"Wells Fargo team member volunteers will take responsibility for planning and maintaining the garden throughout the growing season, and then for delivering the produce to the nonprofits," she said.

 

The garden will operate as part of a program called Corporate Giving Gardens that was launched two years ago by United Way of Central Iowa. The Wells Fargo garden will not be open to the public.

 

Wells Fargo decided to spread its wings at the West Des Moines campus with new construction starting in 2013 on 265,000 square feet of office space, a 50,000-square-foot cafeteria and training center, and a parking garage.

 

The Plan and Zoning Commission meets today at 5:30 p.m.