Prairie enthusiasts and kids join effort to strengthen Monarch Migration Corridor
EAU CLAIRE (June 19, 2018) – Xcel Energy is giving monarch butterflies, honey bees and other pollinators new life, by redeveloping a dry prairie in Eau Claire.
As part of National Pollinator Week, prairie enthusiasts, Xcel Energy employees, staff from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and children from the summer program at the Eau Claire Indoor Sports Center today helped plant milkweed and other pollinator-friendly plants on two-acres of property near Xcel Energy’s Wisconsin headquarters in Eau Claire. Today’s event was part of a week-long national effort to recognize the importance of pollinators.
“Xcel Energy is proud to be involved in doing what we can to respond to the decline in monarch butterflies, honey bees and other critical pollinators,” said Mark Stoering, president, Xcel Energy Wisconsin. “With our northern service territory following the Monarch Migration Corridor paralleling Interstate 35 from Minnesota to Texas, we see this as a tremendous opportunity.”
“We appreciate the efforts of Xcel Energy and many others who are working to improve these habitats,” said Missy Sparrow, wildlife biologist, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. “Pollinators are a very important part of the ecosystem. They are key to production of most fruits, nuts and berries that both humans and wildlife eat.”
Xcel Energy currently has more than 1,300 acres of pollinator habitat in Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin. The sites include more than 30 acres under transmission lines in Eau Claire, a large portion of the 3,000-acre Tyrone site and a seven-acre site at a Boy Scout Camp in La Crosse. Plans also include using native plants to help pollinators at the company’s three community solar gardens in Eau Claire, La Crosse and Ashland.