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An aerial view of the new prairie planting at Great River Energy in Elk River.

More than 12 acres have been planted with habitat friendly to bees, butterflies and birds on Great River Energy’s Elk River campus. Recently, approximately 3.4 new acres were planted with a similar mix of butterfly milkweed, black-eyed Susans, little bluestems and other pollinator-friendly species.

Following the demolition of Elk River Station, Great River Energy worked on a new landscaping plan for the site. In 2016, Great River Energy planted 9 acres of pollinator-friendly prairie next to the facility.

“It only made sense that we would help the bees expand their habitat in Elk River,” said Andrew Stewart, director, business operations. “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 has been adding more acres to its pollinator-friendly portfolio since 2015. To date, Great River Energy has more than 200 acres of native habitat at its various locations.

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