Pollinator habitat grows in Elk River

Approximately 3.4 new acres of Great River Energy’s Elk River campus were planted with a mix of butterfly milkweed, black-eyed Susans, little bluestems and other pollinator-friendly species in September. This is in addition to the 9 acres of pollinator habitat planted at the site in 2016.

An image captured with a drone shows the pollinator habitat at Great River Energy’s Elk River campus.

The new prairie is located at the site of the Elk River Energy Recovery Station, a waste-to-energy power plant that was closed in 2019.

“It only made sense that we would help the bees expand their habitat in Elk River,” said Andrew Stewart, director of business operations at Great River Energy. “The native pollinator habitat at Elk River is a great example of Great River Energy’s commitment to sustainability. This habitat captures carbon, reduces runoff and snow drifts, and supports species of birds and insects that are critical for the pollination of many agricultural crops. It does all this while saving our members money and reducing the use of pesticides, water and fer­­tilizer. It is a win for the environment, the community and for our member-owner cooperatives.”

Great River Energy continues to add more acres to its pollinator-friendly portfolio. To date, there are more than 200 acres of native habitat planted at its various locations.