Great River Energy’s commitment to plant and restore pollinator habitats across its eligible sites continued this fall as several late fall plantings were completed the last several days of October.
The plantings are part of Great River Energy’s Pollinator Strong initiative, a pledge to environmental sustainability by creating food and nesting space for animals and insects that are crucial to a diverse food supply.
“Pollinator habitat supports a healthy ecosystem and helps sustain the agriculture sector,” said David Ranallo, Great River Energy director of culture, communications and strategy. “As a cooperative, efforts to improve communities and the environment where we live and work is incredibly important and Pollinator Strong is an initiative making a difference.”
The plantings occurred at properties owned by Great River Energy in the following areas across Minnesota:
- Moon Lake
- Dotson Corners
- Stoney Creek
- Cannon Falls
- Spring Creek
- Lake Marion
- St. Bonifacius
- New Prague
Great River Energy works with Minnesota Native Landscapes to prepare and seed new pollinator locations. In many situations, a drone that uses GPS coordinates is used to apply herbicide in a more consistent and accurate manner compared to conventional application methods. The drone holds 8 gallons of solution and can usually spray up to 30 acres per hour.
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 service by reducing the risk of plant-material impacting 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.
To learn more about the benefits of pollinator habitat, Great River Energy’s commitment and how to create an impact in your own backyard, visit pollinatorstrong.com.