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Hummingbird pollinating a flower.

What makes a pollinator paradise

Long before Chaka Khan sang about a butterfly in the sky in the Reading Rainbow , pollinators like butterflies, bees, bats and other animals played a part, not just inspiring young readers, but in every ecosystem.  

These animals and insects help fertilize plants by moving pollen between them. Not only does this mean fields filled with beautiful flowers, the pollination process also supports our food, beverage, pharmaceutical and other industries.  

In fact, according to , a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting pollinators through conservation, education and research, pollinators contribute worth of products, such as agave, blueberries and vanilla, to the U.S. economy. 

Different plants attract different species 

In the same way you favor certain foods, different species of pollinators also favor different plants. When planting pollinator habitat, the U.S. Forest Service using a wide variety of seeds, especially from native plants, to help a wide variety of pollinators thrive.  

For example, bees, butterflies, nocturnal moths and other species , a plant native to the and , because of the plant’s abundant nectar production. In addition to being great for pollinators, native plants offer many other benefits, including:

  • Groundwater filtration. 
  • Reduced soil erosion. 
  • Removal of carbon from the air we breathe. 

You can support pollinators at home by making and scattering seed balls made up of native plant seeds in your yard. If you’re not into plants or getting your hands dirty, bird baths and feeders give pollinators a place to refresh and recharge along their pollination path.  

Pollinators and energy companies 

Energy companies like ײƵ have recognized the importance of pollinator habitat in the world’s ecosystems and have begun planting native seed mixes wherever possible. This often includes solar project sites.  

continues to broaden our understanding of pollinators and how best to help them thrive. Studies pinpoint where habitat loss is occurring and help educate which plants and species are needed most.  

Our pollinator prairie habitat is planted with milkweed and, at our Wood County and Wautoma solar sites, with lupine for the Karner Blue butterfly. This species of butterfly is threatened by habitat loss, and planting seed mixes that attract them helps the species for the life of the project.  

So, are you ready to start your own pollinator habitat at home? Before you dig in, check out our recommendations for the perfect pollinator paradise here.   

Laura is the Manager of Environmental Services specializing in sustainability, emerging issues and reporting. She began her utility career in Corporate Communications then spent seven years leading the Distribution System Operations and GIS team. During her career, Laura learned how customers are at the heart of every decision ײƵ makes, from emergency restoration to environmental compliance.

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