Xcel Energy and the city of Bloomington, Minnesota are giving monarch butterflies, honey bees and other pollinators new life, by dedicating six acres of land to restore their habitat.
Bloomington community leaders and students from Valley View Elementary today helped plant milkweed and other pollinator-friendly plants on native prairie land underneath Xcel Energy‘s transmission lines on Park Avenue between 90th and 93rd streets. The event was part of a national effort to boost the monarch butterfly population.
This new habitat will help strengthen the Monarch Migration corridor, an area that roughly parallels Interstate 35 from Minnesota to Texas. Xcel Energy serves customers along the Midwestern portion of this route, and the company’s utility rights-of-way are ideal for milkweed and other native nectar-producing plants butterflies and bees need.
The U.S. Department of Transportation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are also working to rebuild the population along the interstate corridor.
“We’re honored to work with national and local partners who share Xcel Energy’s commitment to the environment and to protecting important pollinators,” said Chris Clark, president, Xcel Energy-Minnesota. “This initiative is part of larger campaign Xcel Energy launched a decade ago to build up the habitat butterflies and bees need to thrive.”
“It’s great to be a part of this initiative with a company and organization that share our values when it comes to pollinators and the environment,” said Bloomington Mayor Gene Winstead. “The City of Bloomington has a strong history of developing native plant communities on public property and this latest habitat is another shining example of our commitment to sustainable land management.”
“We are excited to work with Xcel Energy and the City of Bloomington to make a future filled with monarchs and other pollinators,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Refuge Supervisor Tom Kerr. “Together, with concerned citizens, we can grow more pollinator habitat in our backyards and rights-of-way.”
Xcel Energy currently has more than 1,100 acres of active pollinator habitat at 25 locations in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and another more than 200 acres in development.