Partnering to promote pollinators - Great River Energy

Partnering to promote pollinators

Great River Energy, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum collaborate on educational initiative

Great River Energy, a not-for-profit wholesale electric cooperative serving 27 member-owner distribution cooperatives, today announced its partnership with the Farm at the Arb at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska to further promote pollinator initiatives and education.

The partnership includes Great River Energy’s sponsorship of the Arboretum’s “Farm Crawl: Pollinator Power,” a new educational scavenger hunt that launches Saturday, Aug. 3, at a new Honey Harvest & Flowers for Pollinators event scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. that day.

Carrie Stowers, engagement manager at the Farm at the Arb, expects visitors to engage with the Farm Crawl, which includes a tour around the farm’s pollinator interpretation and native garden plantings and also highlights Minnesota’s own rusty-patched bumble bee, which was listed as endangered in 2017.

“We are so grateful for Great River Energy’s Pollinator Strong commitment to pollinator habitats and education. We hope the Farm Crawl and the Honey Harvest event can inspire new audiences to learn how they, too, can make a difference.”

— Carrie Stowers, engagement manager at the Farm at the Arb

The Honey Harvest & Flowers for Pollinators event provides an opportunity for experts to connect visitors with farmers and learn about the cooperative’s Pollinator Strong story through experiences around the farm.

Attendees will have the opportunity to taste honey samples and view honey cooking demonstrations as well as explore interactive exhibits, games and hands-on activities building their own “bee food” bouquets of pollinator-friendly flowers to take home.

“Great River Energy has been re-establishing native habitat for years and we are proud to partner with a cooperative member like the Arb to advance a healthy ecosystem across the state of Minnesota,” said David Ranallo, director of culture, communications and strategy at Great River Energy.

Pollinator habitat supports a healthy ecosystem and helps sustain the agriculture sector. Pollinators like bees, bats and hummingbirds are necessary for the healthy production of the world’s flower plants, including most of the world’s crop species. In recent years, populations of bees and other pollinators have declined. According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, only about 1% of Minnesota’s native prairie remains today.

In addition to environmental benefits, pollinator habitat helps maintain the reliability of Great River Energy’s wholesale electric service by reducing the risk of plant material interfering with overhead lines and towers. Great River Energy has restored 300 acres of native habitat to date at its facilities and along transmission lines to support Minnesota communities and find innovative solutions to manage costs. Today’s pledge reiterates the cooperative’s commitment to being good stewards of the environment while providing reliable energy to its members.

Visit pollinatorstrong.com to learn more about the benefits of pollinator habitat, Great River Energy’s commitment and how to create an impact in your own backyard. Register for Honey Harvest & Flowers for Pollinators event at arb.umn.edu/summerfun/honey.

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