Plantings and restoration will occur throughout Minnesota over the next five years
Great River Energy (GRE), a not-for-profit wholesale electric cooperative serving 27 member-owner distribution cooperatives, announced June 20, a commitment to plant and restore an additional 300 acres of pollinator habitat across current and future eligible sites.
The pledge, dubbed Pollinator Strong, is already underway and strengthens the cooperative’s commitment to environmental sustainability by creating food and nesting space for animals and insects crucial to a diverse food supply.
“Great River Energy has been re-establishing native habitat for years and we are proud to make an official pledge that supports a healthy ecosystem across the state of Minnesota,” said David Ranallo, director of culture, communications, marketing and member relations at GRE. “We have a team dedicated to restoring prairie and pollinator-friendly habitat which benefits the communities our members serve and contributes to the needed national efforts underway to restore pollinator habitat.”
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 service by reducing the risk of plant-material impacting overhead lines and towers.
GRE 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. Their pledge reiterates the cooperative’s commitment to being good stewards of the environment while providing reliable power to its members.
To bring the pollinator-friendly habitats to life, Great River Energy has partnered with MNL, a Minnesota-based ecological restoration company with decades of experience in native seeding and land restoration. The habitats MNL will cultivate will provide a home for pollinators and help build healthy soils that assist in recharging clean groundwater, reduce erosion and improve soil carbon sequestration.
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.