Habitat in the News

Conservation efforts target monarchs as ESA decision looms

E&E News

March 20, 2024

Judgment day approaches for the monarch butterfly.

Bound by a court settlement, the Fish and Wildlife Service is supposed to decide by early December whether the monarch warrants listing as threatened or endangered. Although the agency misses many Endangered Species Act deadlines, it appears determined to meet this one after several years of study.

“We wanted to make sure that we have all the best science available … and we wanted to make sure that we were able to gather all that information and make a quality decision,” said Nicole Alt, director of FWS’ Center for Pollinator Conservation.

Read more.

Pollinator grant applications now open in Minnesota

KFGO (Fargo, ND)

March 31, 2024

The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources is now accepting grant applications for pollinator habitat projects across Minnesota. Ecologist Dan Shaw says the small-scale nature of the projects these grants will fund, like in communities and residential areas, is key to reversing declines in bee, butterfly and dragonfly populations.

He says, “Residents really can make a difference within their landscapes. We tell people to start small if you’re new to planting native plants and supporting pollinators, you can always expand in the future.”

Read the rest of the article.

(Canada) Federal environmental minister pledges CAD 7.5 million to protect habitat

Montreal Gazette (Montreal, QC)

March 4, 2024

Steven Guilbeault, the federal minister of environment and climate change, was in Montreal on Monday to announce up to $7.5 million of new funding for projects to protect the habitat of species at risk across the country, including $1.5 million for 12 projects in Quebec.

“Nature is at the heart of our way of life and our main ally in the fight against climate change,” he told reporters at a news conference in La Fontaine Park. “Investing in nature also means investing in the fight against climate change because they are two sides of the same coin.”

Read more.

Edge habitats along roads and power lines may be key to conserving rare plants


February 1, 2024

Managing forest edge habitats to maintain a gradient of canopy cover and plant density could be key to conserving some threatened native plant species such as wild lupine, according to Penn State researchers.

Edge habitats created by natural or human-caused disturbances, including corridors along roadways and utility rights-of-way, provide prime opportunities for encouraging the establishment and reproduction of rare native plants, the researchers reported in a new study published in Plant Ecology.

Read the rest of the article at Phys.org.

States give pollinators pit stops in rights-of-way

Bay Journal (Mayo, MD)

November 21, 2023

Here’s an item to add to your bingo card for long car drives: “no-mow” signs.

More highways and byways across the region are posting them next to strips of land — in medians, at intersections and along shoulders and curbs — as part of reduced mowing practices being integrated into their culture.

Mowing less frequently or avoiding it all together during certain times of year helps to leave habitat for native and pollinator-friendly plants, such as milkweed, when migrating monarchs and other wildlife need them most. Less mowing also means less pollution from gas-powered mowers, and there are financial incentives, too. 

Read more.


St. Louis County (MN) joins Monarch CCAA

(St. Louis) County joins national monarch protection agreement

October 4, 2023

The Timberjay (Northern St. Louis County, MN)

In a win-win Tuesday for monarch butterflies and St. Louis County, the board of commissioners approved an agreement that will provide more butterfly habitat along the county’s roadways while protecting future county operations should the monarch be designated as endangered.

Read more on the Timberjay website.

Roadside Initiatives Helping to Counter Biodiversity Loss

December 15, 2022

With 8 billion people now sharing our globe, the demands on land and water have never been greater. Biodiversity loss is a growing concern worldwide as highlighted by the recent global conferences on climate change (COP27) and biodiversity (COP15). In connection, the habitats and species, including at-risk insect pollinators, that make up biodiversity are an increasing focus of land management.

In June this year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced the establishment of a new Center for Pollinator Conservation. This announcement signaled the continuing importance that pollinators have across the nation. Pollinators are facing severe declines in population around the world, including throughout North America with bee populations decline being the most notable. Since 2017, the rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis) has been listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act and there are several other bumble bees that are either petitioned for federal listing consideration or undergoing status assessments for possible future listings.

Read the rest of the article here.


Some see dead space on the side of the road. These groups see a potential haven for wildlife.

CNN (Cambridge, UK)

November 14, 2022

This roundabout would have been easily overlooked just a few months ago – wedged between busy traffic lanes, there wasn’t much growing apart from bog-standard grass. But local residents who drove past every day thought it had potential.

Now, it’s been transformed into a wildflower meadow, buzzing with insect life and blooming with color.

Reinvigorating those grassy edges of streets and highways – often called road verges or medians – is the bread and butter of local conservation group On The Verge Cambridge, which stepped in to help re-wild the traffic circle as they work toward boosting biodiversity in the local area through planting.

Read the rest of the article here.

Here’s how conservation experts are hoping to increase Iowa’s monarch butterfly population

WOI-DT/WeAreIowa.com (Ames, IA)

October 26, 2022

Iowa has been steadily adding new habitat for monarch butterflies over the past couple of years.

The Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium recently released a report, highlighting the progress of monarch habitat establishment in all 99 counties.

So far, they are well on their way to meeting their goal.

“The decline is really associated with the loss of milkweed in the Midwest,” said Dr. Kelsey Fisher with Iowa State University.

Read the rest of the article at WeAreIowa.com.

Middle Tennessee Electric, Tennessee Environmental Council breaking ground on pollinator habitat

WGNS Radio (Murfreesboro, TN)

Nov. 10, 2022

Middle Tennessee Electric (MTE) and Tennessee Environmental Council (TEC) are partnering to establish a one-acre native pollinator habitat at MTE’s solar field in College Grove. A groundbreaking ceremony will be held Monday, Nov. 14, at noon.

MTE commissioned its 1-megawatt solar field in College Grove, TN in November of 2016. It allows MTE members to participate in renewable energy programs without the expense and effort needed to build their own solar PV systems.

Read the rest of the article at wgnsradio.com.

U.S. Department of Energy Invests $14 Million to Enhance Environmental and Wildlife Benefits from Solar Energy Infrastructure

United States Department of Energy

October 17, 2022

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $14 million in funding to researchers to study how solar energy infrastructure interacts with wildlife and ecosystems. These projects are part of DOE’s nearly $100 million renewable power research portfolio that invests in innovative, cost-effective solutions to minimize wildlife impacts—and maximize the environmental benefits—of renewable energy technologies. As renewable energy deployment grows to combat the climate crisis and achieve President Biden’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, DOE is supporting research to ensure renewable energy deployment also benefits native wildlife and ecosystems.

“DOE is committed to ensuring that renewable energy deployment protects natural environments,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “This first-ever DOE investment in tools to better understand how solar energy infrastructure interacts with native wildlife and the environment will help increase adoption of ecosystem-friendly clean energy deployment.”

Read the rest of the press release at the DoE website.

Buzzing Around Solar: Pollinator Habitat Under Solar Arrays

Buzzing Around Solar: Pollinator Habitat Under Solar Arrays

U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO)

June 21, 2022

Pollinators—such as bees, butterflies, and other insects—are critical to the success of about 35 percent of global food crop production. In order to thrive, pollinators must have a suitable habitat. Establishing pollinator-friendly plants under and around ground-mounted solar arrays has the potential to provide this critical habitat and benefit both the pollinators and nearby agriculture. But a number of important questions remain about the impacts of pollinator-friendly solar and how to implement it at a large scale.

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) is working to better understand the economic, ecological, and performance impacts of co-locating pollinator habitat and solar arrays. This research is part of our broader agrivoltaics research, which studies how solar and agriculture can co-locate.

Read the rest of the article at the SETO website.

Missoula (MT) pollinator conservation plan to protect, promote forage for bees, butterflies

KPAX.COM (Missoula, MT)

August 22, 2022

With urban turf and ornamental landscapes among the fastest growing ecosystems on the planet, a new effort funded by the Lolo National Forest and spearheaded by Missoula County will turn an eye to the needs of the region’s native pollinators.

A $25,000 grant from the Forest Service to the local Weed District will support the planning and eventual launch of a new Missoula County Pollinator Conservation plan. The goal is to identify the region’s native pollinators and improve the habitat they rely upon – and do so in the easiest of places.

Read the rest of the article at the KPAX website.

Monarch butterflies are in trouble. WE Energies aims to help.

WE Energies

Press Release

August 16, 2022

We Energies and its parent company, WEC Energy Group, are joining a new nationwide effort to help restore and increase the monarch butterfly population. The companies are among the first in Wisconsin’s utility industry to take part in this important initiative.

The monarch butterfly population has shrunk by 80% in the eastern United States since the 1990s due to the loss of habitat and food sources. As a result, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is considering listing the monarch butterfly as threatened or endangered by 2024. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) added the migratory monarch butterfly to its Red List earlier this summer, stating the species is threatened with extinction.

We Energies is part of a WEC Energy Group effort that has committed to conserving and restoring monarch butterfly habitat on nearly 500 acres of its properties. New and expanded habitats will be maintained across the state, including land near the power plants at the Oak Creek/Elm Road campus and several hydroelectric facilities.

“This is another step in our commitment to serve our communities and build a bright, sustainable future,” said Scott Lauber, president — We Energies. “This dedicated effort to preserve, restore and manage habitats will play a vital role in the survival of monarch butterflies, improving biodiversity on a landscape scale, and the success of our ecosystem for decades to come.“

We Energies’ efforts are part of the Nationwide Candidate Conservation Agreement for Monarch Butterflies. This national program is being led by the USFWS and University of Illinois Chicago to encourage transportation and energy partners to participate in monarch butterfly conservation.

Read the original press release on the We Energies website.

KCS, CP, GATX, Rotary, NASCO Team for a ‘Butterfly Effect’

Railway Age

August 3, 2022

Here’s something probably not too many rail industry people know: The migration path of the Monarch Butterfly, recently declared an endangered species, closely follows the alignment of the combined north-south Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern networks, which (pending merger approval by the Surface Transportation Board) will in early 2023 merge to form CPKC (Canadian Pacific Kansas City), North America’s first transnational freight railroad.

Thus, the Monarch Butterfly “represents North American unity,” say CP, KCS, GATX, the Monterrey (Mexico) Metropolitan Rotary Club and NASCO (North American Supply Chain Organization), which have launched the Save the Monarch Butterfly 60,000 Tree Challenge North American Boxcar Tour to raise $100,000. The funds raised will be used to plant 60,000 Oyamel fir trees at El Rosario Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary in Michoacán, Mexico to help reestablish the monarch population.

Read the rest of the article at the Railway Age website.

Conservation survey finds native New York State pollinators at risk

Cornell Chronicle (Cornell University, Ithaca, NY)

August 8, 2022

A New York state survey, supported by Cornell bee experts, finds that more than half of important native pollinators may be at risk of disappearing from the state – potentially threatening crops, wildflowers and insect diversity.

The three-year Empire State Native Pollinator Survey, released Aug. 4 by the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), found that at least 38% – and as many as 60% – of the pollinators targeted by the survey are at risk because they are rare or declining. For bees, up to 24% of the species may be at risk and an additional 11% are considered possibly extirpated, or known only from historical records. The survey is among the most systematic conservation status assessments of pollinators conducted by any state, according to its authors.

Read the rest of the article at the Cornell Chronicle website.


Roadside habitats for pollinators

University of Minnesota

June 28, 2022

Most people spend little time considering roadsides. Not so for College of Biological Sciences Associate Professor of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior Emilie Snell-Rood, who has overseen three projects and more than 400 roadside site surveys in Minnesota to determine the benefits and the risks of developing roadside habitats for declining native plants and pollinators. She is using the results of this research to help with conservation efforts by providing data-driven guidance to roadside managers.

Providing crucial support for 70 percent of the country’s crops, pollinators and insects, including native bees and monarch butterflies, are an important part of our ecosystem, yet many are declining due to factors including habitat loss. To counteract this decline, many are looking toward investing in roadsides, including the Biden Administration, which recently passed an infrastructure bill containing millions of dollars in funding toward roadside monarch habitat. In Minnesota alone, roadsides offer the potential for over half a million acres of viable pollinator-friendly habitat.

Read the rest of the article here.

These Pollinating Crustaceans are the Bees of the Sea

Smithsonian Magazine

July 29, 2022

Bees, butterflies, moths, hummingbirds and other nectar-seeking wildlife are often heralded for the vital role they play in pollinating flowering plants on land.

Now, there’s a new creature to add to the very important pollinator list, one that helps plants flourish in a surprising place: underwater.

Scientists have discovered that a small, bug-like crustacean called Idotea balthica can pollinate red seaweed, a type of algae often found growing in tide pools. The findings, published Thursday in the journal Science, add to a small but growing body of evidence that raises questions about whether animal-mediated pollination may have first evolved underwater, instead of on land. It’s also possible that pollination evolved in separate instances, underwater and on land.

Continue reading this article at the Smithsonian Magazine website.


Duke Energy ramps up environmental efforts, joins forces to protect vulnerable wildlife in Florida

Press release from Duke Energy

July 21, 2022

As part of its commitment to support the vitality of a healthy ecosystem, Duke Energy Florida has aligned efforts with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), among other agencies, to protect a population of federally endangered wildflowers in central Florida.

Earlier this spring, Duke Energy environmental scientists joined various agencies and stakeholders to maximize the preservation and protection of the federally endangered clasping warea (Warea amplexifolia) and the federally threatened sand skink (Neoseps reynoldsi) found in an unincorporated community in Marion County, near Ocklawaha.

Read the rest of the press release at the Duke Energy website.

Napa County aids monarch butterfly comeback push

Napa Valley Register (Napa, CA)

July 19, 2022

Napa Valley wine country could potentially also be western monarch butterfly country — at least a little bit — at a time when the iconic orange-and-black butterfly needs help. 

The butterfly faces challenges. An annual Thanksgiving count done in California found about 2,000 monarchs in 2020 before rebounding to 247,000 in 2021. Both numbers are far short of the more than 1.2 million recorded in 1997.

Read the rest of the article at the Napa Valley Register website.

Round Rock (TX) City Council passes resolution to protect, conserve native pollinators

Fox 7 Austin (Austin, TX)

July 17, 2022

Round Rock City Council has passed a resolution on becoming a pollinator-friendly community through the Bee City USA initiative.

Bee City USA provides community affiliates and campuses with a framework to conserve native pollinators by providing a heathy habitat that is rich in various native plants, provides nest sites and is pesticide-free.

Round Rock is joining several other Texas cities as a Bee City USA affiliate, including Austin, Buda, Beeville and Abilene.

Read the rest of this article at the Fox 7 Austin website.

Milkweed for monarchs: Local plant giveaways aim to sustain butterfly

Ventura County Star (Camarillo, CA)

July 14, 2022

Hundreds of Ventura County residents are converging on events to pick up free native milkweed plants that support monarch butterflies and provide an alternative to a recently banned nonnative milkweed harmful to monarchs.

Last month, county Agricultural Commissioner Ed Williams prohibited the sale of a tropical milkweed called Asclepias curassavica after the California Department of Food and Agriculture classified it as a B-rated noxious weed. That means the state considers the species detrimental and counties can ban its sale.

Read the rest of the article at the Ventura County Star website.

New pollinator garden helping monarch butterflies thrive

ABC News Channel 20 (Springfield, IL)

July 12, 2022

City Water, Light and Power’s Land & Water Resources Department has established a new pollinator garden.

The pollinator garden acts as one of the many Monarch waystations around Lake Springfield.

Planting milkweed is one of several ways to help pollinators as it provides monarchs with shelter, milkweed, and other pollinator plants to help their migration.

Read the rest of the article at the News Channel 20 website.

Trenton (ME) pledges to save monarch butterflies

News Center Maine (Portland, ME)

July 6, 2022

Monarch butterflies may be the most familiar butterfly in North America. It’s hard to miss the black, orange, and white patterned wings fluttering from flower to flower. But spotting them is becoming less common.

The population of the monarch butterfly has declined in recent years.

The eastern monarch population dropped about 88 percent from 1996 to 2020, from an estimated 383 million to just under 45 million, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Read the rest of the article at newscentermaine.com.

Proposed solar farm pledges big bee, butterfly habitat

The Republic (Columbus, IN)

June 27, 2022

Developers of a proposed solar energy farm in northeastern Bartholomew County are pledging to incorporate what would be the largest “pollinator garden” in the county, providing vital habitat for butterflies and bees that are essential for food and vegetation.

The proposed Swallowtail Solar Farm, which developers Arevon Energy Inc. and Tenaska want to build on agricultural land leased from owners in Clay and Flat Rock Townships, would generate 200 megawatts of clean renewable energy, enough to power more than 30,000 homes.

Read the rest of this article at The Republic website.

County implementing new mowing practices along state highways to boost monarch habitat

La Crosse Tribune (La Crosse, WI)

June 28, 2022

You may notice more lush greenery along state highways in La Crosse County this summer, and if you’re lucky you may also spot the fluttering wings of a monarch butterfly.

The reason for the longer foliage is a new Wisconsin Department of Transportation program to increase habitat enjoyed by monarchs along state highways. The state program will pause mowing along highways until October, when the butterfly season is over. Previously, all mowing had to be completed by July 1.

The La Crosse County Highway Department is responsible for maintaining 162 miles of state highways within La Crosse County, which includes mowing rights-of-way.

Read the rest of this article at the La Crosse Tribune website.

New pollinator garden at WA state capitol gives people and bees a place to have lunch

Tacoma News-Tribune

July 3, 2022

A new garden on the state Capitol campus in Olympia is attracting visitors by foot and by wing.

The Capitol Campus Pollinator Garden opened last week with colorful stands of golden yarrow, blue salvia, sweet-smelling alyssum and other flowers that winged critters find delectable.

Read more at the Tacoma News-Tribune website.


Interior Department commits to urgent actions to conserve the monarch butterfly

U.S. Department of the Interior

June 23, 2022

WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Shannon Estenoz, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Director Martha Williams and Senator Jeff Merkley joined science experts and policymakers at the first-ever Monarch Butterfly Summit in Washington, DC, on June 22-23, 2022. 

The two-day summit was organized to share the latest science and conservation actions being taken to address the long-term population decline of the western monarch butterfly, bringing together key stakeholders from across the science and policy communities to identify priority actions to conserve the western monarch butterfly. Leading experts provided the current state of the science, natural history, population status, habitats and barriers to conservation success. 

Read the rest of the press release here.

Merkley gives lift to monarch butterfly preservation

KDRV.com (Medford, OR)

June 26, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Monarch butterflies seem to have many supporters, including an Oregon senator who’s getting $1-million on their behalf.

Senator Jeff Merkley and Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced the $1-million investment during their two-day monarch butterfly summit in Washington, D.C. this month to review protections for the species.

They announced the funding Thursday to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s (NFWF) Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Conservation Fund and the establishment of a Pollinator Conservation Center at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). Both projects are supported by the western monarch conservation funding Senator Merkley secured as Chairman of the Interior, Environment & Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee in the fiscal year 2022 appropriations bill.

Read the rest of the article at KDRV.com.

Climate change negatively impacting bumble bees


June 24, 2022

Temperature changes have negatively impacted most species of bumble bees over the past 120 years, according to new research published this week in Biology Letters. The researchers note that changes in temperature had more of a negative impact than other factors — such as precipitation or floral resources.

“Bumble bees are important pollinators for wild plants and for the crops humans rely on for food. That’s why we need to develop conservation strategies that account for the future impacts of climate change on bee populations,” says study lead Hanna Jackson, a Masters student in the M’Gonigle Lab in biological sciences at Simon Fraser University.

Jackson and her colleagues analyzed an existing dataset containing records on 46 bumble bee species across North America between 1900 — 2020. They created two occupancy models — one focused on time and the other on environmental factors — to estimate effects of climate and land-use variables on species’ occupancy, a measure of where species are found. They found that six bumble bee species decreased through time, 22 increased and the remaining 18 were stable.

Continue reading this article at ScienceDaily.

Celebrate Pollinator Week and help save the bees that pollinate our food

KSAT.com (San Antonio, TX)

June 20, 2022

This is Pollinator Week — a time to celebrate birds, bats, bees, beetles and butterflies.

Even if you’re not a bat or bug person, your life is still directly affected by pollinators every single day.

Love margaritas? The agave plant, which produces an essential ingredient in tequila, depends on bats for pollination.

“Pollinators play an important role in our ecosystems and food systems,” said Luke Metzger, Executive Director of Environment Texas. “This Pollinator Week, we’re doubling down on our pledge to do all we can to protect our precious pollinators that help make our flowers bloom and trees bear fruit.”

Read the rest of the article at KSAT.com.

California Pollinator Coalition reports increasing cooperation among ag, conservation groups

Markets Insider

June 20, 2022

A year after coming together to help make the agricultural landscape more friendly to pollinators, members of the California Pollinator Coalition say they’re gaining momentum, building stronger relationships between agriculture and conservation groups that are already increasing habitat on the ground. 

The coalition – created in April 2021 and including more than 20 agriculture, conservation and government organizations – says it’s building a stronger network among these groups that has already led to new projects to expand on the success of the efforts of its individual member organizations.

Read the rest of the article at the Markets Insider website.

Rentable backyard beehives all the buzz as they bolster pollinators

CBS Minnesota

May 27, 2022

Minnesota pollinators have it tough right now. The Department of Natural Resources says habitat loss, pesticides and climate change, have contributed to the drastic decline in population.

But now that spring is in full bloom and our gardens are picking up steam, some people are turning their backyards into bee havens.

Read more on the CBS Minnesota website.

Pollinators, planting, and painting: West Ash neighbors gather for Plemmons Pollinator Day

Columbia Missourian (Columbia, MO)

June 5, 2022

The air was filled with a slight breeze, bees and neighborly spirit on Sunday during the Plemmons Pollinator Day in the West Ash Neighborhood in Columbia. Columbia residents gathered to exchange native plants, tour seven different gardens, paint faces, make watering dishes for bees and listen to live music. 

The event started in 2018 when a group of neighbors decided to share their passion for pollinators and native plants with the rest of their community. It was renamed the Gail Plemmons Memorial Pollinator Event last year to honor a neighbor who passed away. 

The garden tours included native plants, greenhouses, vegetables, chickens, rain barrels, composting, pollinators, lessons about watersheds and much more. “I like the fact that it’s kind of cheesy,” Christine Gardener said, one of the original organizers of the event. 

Continue reading this article at the Columbia Missourian website.


Monarch butterflies move closer to Endangered Species Protection

Salisbury Daily Times (Salisbury, MD)

June 7, 2022

Although they will have to wait till 2024, monarch butterflies are slated for a decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on receiving endangered or threatened species protection.

On account of pesticide spraying, habitat loss and climate change, monarch butterfly populations have decreased 85%. 

The population is below the threshold at which government scientists estimate the butterfly migrations could collapse. The Center for Biological Diversity, along with the Center for Food Safety, petitioned for protection of the butterflies Aug. 26, 2014.

Read the rest of the article at the Salisbury Daily Times website.

400 butterflies released in refuge, [Colorado governor] Polis to sign law aimed at Colorado pollinator protections

The Denver Post

May 27, 2022

UPDATE: The bill mentioned in this article, Senate Bill 22-199, was signed into law by Colorado governor Jared Polis on May 27, 2022.

Warmer temps and moisture aligned with the release of 400 native butterflies into a public sanctuary southwest of Denver — amid efforts by Colorado leaders to ensure better habitat for pollinator insects statewide.

This Chatfield Farms Butterfly House — run by Denver Botanic Gardens and the Westminster-based Butterfly Pavilion — opens Saturday on a 700-acre preserve west of Chatfield Reservoir along Deer Creek.

Continue reading this article at The Denver Post website.


New pollinator habitat established in Shakopee (MN)


May 30, 2022

A new pollinator habitat has been planted in Shakopee, becoming the largest habitat site in the city.

Seed for expanding the amount of pollinator habitat in town has been planted in more than eight acres of farmland along the intersection of Sioux Trail and Marystown Road.

The initiative is a partnership between the city of Shakopee, Xcel Energy and Scott County Soil and Water Conservation District.

Read the rest of this article at swnewsmedia.com.


Sheep among the panels: using solar sites for pastureland

Pennsylvania Capital-Star

June 2, 2022

A solar power boom generated by new renewable energy mandates is unfurling in the Chesapeake Bay region. Virginia, for example, was ninth in the nation for new solar capacity in 2021.

With many solar arrays ending up on farmland, a movement is fast taking hold to make sure that they will benefit the environment, agriculture and wildlife, and not just create a sea of silicon.

Continue reading this article at the Capital-Star website. 

‘Operation Pollinator’ encourages businesses and homeowners to plant more gardens

Spectrum News 1 (Greensboro, N.C.)

June 2, 2022

In the push to help pollinators, a company is encouraging more people to plant gardens and let wildflowers grow freely.

Syngenta’s “Operation Pollinator” is a program with an international reach. It’s designed to help pollinators by planting native flowers.

Syngenta pollinator and IPM stewardship lead Caydee Savinelli oversees the Operation Pollinator garden on the company’s Greensboro campus, and she said it’s a powerful tool to help change the landscapes of our world.

Continue reading this article on the Spectrum News 1 website.

Multiple habitats need protecting to save UK bumblebees, finds 10-year citizen science study


May 23, 2022

A study using 10 years of citizen science data from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust’s BeeWalk scheme has found that a variety of targeted conservation approaches are needed to protect UK bumblebee species. The findings are published the British Ecological Society’s Journal of Applied Ecology.

Continue reading this article at Phys.org.

Monarch butterflies see resurgence in Mexico


May 31, 2022

The embattled monarch butterfly appears to have had somewhat of a royal revival in Mexico.

Why it matters: The butterfly endemic to North America has been at risk for years. Climate change, deforestation, pesticide use and the loss of the milkweed they feed on has made the monarchs’ survival much harder.

Driving the news: After years of decline, the area occupied by eastern monarchs in the Mexican forests they flock to grew 35% — from 5.19 acres in December 2020 to 7.02 acres in December 2021 — according to a study from the World Wildlife Fund and the Mexican Committee for Protected Natural Areas released last week.

Read the rest of the article at Axios.

Rotary Clubs plant monarch butterfly habitat in King City

King City Rustler (King City, CA)

May 31, 2022

KING CITY — Continuing a countywide effort to restore monarch butterfly populations, more than 80 Rotarians representing 22 Monterey County Rotary Clubs gathered at San Lorenzo County Park in King City earlier this month to plant 1.5 acres of a habitat garden.

A total of 300 native plants were planted May 7 by the volunteers, which also included Interact Club students from King City and Gonzales high schools, as well as County Supervisor Chris Lopez and King City Mayor Mike LeBarre.

Read the rest of the article on the King City Rustler website.

How utility rights-of-ways became a key habitat for native plants

St. Louis Public Radio

April 7, 2022

People may view electric transmission lines that cut through hills and forests as an eyesore. But environmentalists are finding these rights-of-way can provide a safe haven for threatened wildlife — including pollinators that are essential for food supplies.

For the past five years, Ameren Illinois has teamed up with the conservation nonprofit Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever to plant native vegetation on 175 acres of rural rights-of-way.

Continue reading this article on the St. Louis Public Radio website.

‘No Mow May’ campaign to help pollinators adds inches to Twin Cities yards


Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN)

April 23, 2022

Rhoda and Leonard Bernstein have a “No Mow May” sign in a prominent place in their yard. They’re one of more than 300 Edina residents unapologetically letting their grass grow in the coming weeks.

The effort is part of an international movement to encourage homeowners to postpone cutting their grass in spring. Proponents say that leaving grass unshorn helps pollinators such as bees thrive during the crucial post-winter period, when they are coming out of hibernation.

Suspending mowing allows flowering plants that grow in the grass — such as clovers and dandelions — to bloom, which provides pollinators and their offspring with nectar and pollen. In addition, taller grass can give shelter to bees and butterflies.

Continue reading this article at the Star Tribune website.

Toyota, NEEF and P2 Team Up on Pollinator Friendly Places Project

Yahoo! Finance 

April 29, 2022

Pollinators put food on our tables. One out of every three bites we eat comes to us courtesy of pollinators such as bees, butterflies, moths, flower flies, beetles and bats. Today, Toyota is donating $400,000 to the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) and the Pollinator Partnership (P2) that will be used to enhance 26,000 acres of pollinator habitat across North America over the next five years.

Continue reading this article on Yahoo! Finance.

Monarch Protections Across States Aim to Prevent Federal Rules

The Pew Charitable Trusts

March 28, 2022

Each spring, millions of monarch butterflies leave their overwintering sites in the Sierra Madre mountains of central Mexico and begin their annual migration north across the United States.

The exodus and return of the iconic orange and black butterfly is one of the grandest spectacles of the natural world. But that sight is becoming increasingly rare as the monarch’s population has shrunk by nearly 90% in the past two decades, according to federal scientists.

The monarch faces many threats, including the loss of milkweed and other flowering plants across its range, degradation and loss of overwintering groves in both coastal California and Mexico, and the widespread use of herbicides and pesticides. Many of these stressors are worsened by climate change, according to advocates.

In the past two years, some state transportation departments, local governments and energy companies across 23 states have committed to preserving monarch habitat in hopes of protecting the species and preventing it from being added to the federal endangered species list.

Continue reading this article at the Pew Trusts website.

Illinois utility transforms hundreds of acres into pollinator habitat


April 27, 2022

Electric transmission lines in northern Illinois cut through the Lockport Prairie Nature Preserve, one of the few remaining habitats of the endangered Hines emerald dragonfly. This rare insect stays underground for its first five years of life, making it particularly vulnerable to changes on the land above. To keep utility maintenance from harming the dragonfly, staff at Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) carefully crafted a habitat conservation plan that included the use of smart maps to remove lines to avoid conducting maintenance in sensitive areas.

Avoiding land that the Hines emerald dragonfly occupies helps the utility as well—eliminating the cost of complying with the strict protocols of the Endangered Species Act while simplifying land management.

ComEd’s conservation efforts serve as an example of how organizations can use technology to be both profitable and sustainable.

Continue reading this blog post on the ESRI website

The Fight to Save the Embattled Monarch Butterfly


March 21, 2022

In the depths of the Californian winter, an ember of hope has flickered for the monarch butterfly, the charismatic and beloved visitor that has seemingly been on a graceful descent into oblivion.

The annual mass migration of the orange and black butterflies to the coast of California, as well as a separate odyssey the creatures take each year to the mountains of central Mexico, is among the grandest of spectacles in the natural world. Images of butterflies adorn t-shirts, pottery, and confectionery sold at tourist hotspots that have sprouted up in places where the butterflies gather in such numbers that they cause the boughs of trees to sag.

Continue reading this article at the TIME website.

Free milkweed seeds available from Richland SWCD

Morrow County Sentinel (Mt. Gilead, OH)

April 8, 2022

 Free Milkweed seeds and planting instructions are available while supplies last, from Richland Soil and Water Conservation District (Richland SWCD), located at 1495 W. Longview Avenue, Suite 205B, Mansfield, Ohio 44906. The seeds may be picked up from a basket outside the Richland SWCD office door.

In the fall, the Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative (OPHI) spear-headed the Milkweed Seed Pod collection and was aided by other partners, such as Richland SWCD and the public, in the collection of milkweed seed pods in an effort to help foster habitats for Monarch butterflies and other pollinators. The seeds being given away were harvested from the collected pods and re-packaged by Richland SWCD volunteers, Pete Holmes and Marilyn Roe.

Continue reading this article at the Morrow County Sentinel website.


Lincoln County offers a way to support pollinators

WJFW-TV (Rhinelander, Wisconsin)

March 24, 2022

LINCOLN COUNTY – As we get into spring, it’s important to think about our local pollinators. Now Lincoln County residents have an easy way to help them out.

A pollinator is an animal that moves pollen between different plants to fertilize them.

Continue reading this article at the WJFW-TV website.

Norman becoming suitable for monarchs, other pollinators

Norman Transcript (Norman, OK)

February 18, 2022

A recent garden installation through a collaboration with the state and the city is the latest effort in a series of projects to make Norman more suitable for butterflies.

Every spring, Monarch butterflies embark on a migratory journey from Mexico through the central United States. Oklahoma, along with Texas, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Minnesota make up a six state memorandum signed in 2016, which designated more than 1,500 miles of Interstate 35 as Monarch Highway.

In 2021, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation collaborated with the city and planted approximately 10 acres of wildflowers and native grasses on the west side of Interstate 35 and Highway 9 to protect butterflies and other pollinators.

Continue reading this article at the Norman Transcript website.

Solar and Pollinator in the News

St. Louis Public Radio

April 7, 2022

People may view electric transmission lines that cut through hills and forests as an eyesore. But environmentalists are finding these rights-of-way can provide a safe haven for threatened wildlife — including pollinators that are essential for food supplies.

For the past five years, Ameren Illinois has teamed up with the conservation nonprofit Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever to plant native vegetation on 175 acres of rural rights-of-way.

Continue reading this article on the St. Louis Public Radio website.

First year of monarch butterfly habitat protection program in Kandiyohi County impacted by drought

West Central Tribune (Willmar, MN)

Jan 4, 2022

While the drought this summer might have had an impact on milkweed growth, Kandiyohi County has marked the completion of its first year in a new monarch butterfly habitat projection program. The goal is to help the state’s butterfly population rebound while also allowing public works projects to move forward with fewer restrictions.

In 2021, the County Board approved the county’s participation in the Nationwide Candidate Conservation Agreement for Monarch Butterfly on Energy and Transportation Land conservation program. The agreement, created by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service in partnership with the University of Illinois Chicago, has a goal to set aside 465,000 acres of rights of way nationwide as protected monarch butterfly habitat.

Read the rest of this article at the West Central Tribune website.

Protecting pollinators critical to holiday food favorites

La Junta (CO) Tribune-Democrat

December 1, 2021

By now there’s broad awareness of the critical role pollinators play in most of the delicious foods that grace the traditional holiday table — from the mashed potatoes and roasted squash to the pumpkin bread and pecan pie — but researchers are only just scratching the surface in understanding how agricultural land and pollinator habitat can be interwoven together to benefit both.

Continue reading the article on the La Junta Tribune-Democrat website.

Seeds for the future: Collecting project enhances wildlife, pollinator habitat

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

November 23, 2021

Casual visitors at Woolsey Wet Prairie walk mowed trails to admire wildflowers and native plants that flourish there. Volunteers with Project Wingspan wade into the thick of it, up to their elbows in tall grass waving in the breeze.

Their goal is to collect the seeds from native plants for distribution and planting around the region. The seeds will hopefully grow into mature plants that benefit pollinators such as monarch butterflies and bees.

Continue reading this article on the Gazette website.

Bees, sheep, crops: Solar developers tout multiple benefits

Associated Press

November 4, 2021

MONTICELLO, Minnesota (AP) — Silflower was among native plants that blanketed the vast North American prairie until settlers developed farms and cities. Nowadays confined largely to roadsides and ditches, the long-stemmed cousin of the sunflower may be poised for a comeback, thanks to solar energy.

Researchers are growing silflower at nine solar installations in the Minneapolis area, testing its potential as an oilseed crop. The deep-rooted perennial also offers forage for livestock and desperately needed habitat for bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

Continue reading this article on the Associated Press website.

Senators express concern Brightline train could harm bighorn sheep by fragmenting habitat

Victorville (CA) Daily News

November 14, 2021

When developers of a proposed high-speed train from Los Angeles to Las Vegas talk about their project, one pointthey emphasize is the benefit to the environment.

Representatives of Brightline West have said the electric trains running at speeds of up to 200 mph will cut emissions — 400,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually — by removing from the road more than 3 million vehicles that would normally travel up Interstate 15 to Sin City every year.

Read the rest of the article on the Victorville Daily News website.

NFWF Announces $1.9 Million in Grants from the Monarch Butterfly and Pollinators Conservation Fund

Yahoo! Finance (November 16, 2021)

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced $1.9 million in grants to conserve monarch butterflies and other insect pollinators in California, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The grants will generate $3.2 million in matching contributions for a total conservation impact of $5.1 million.

Continue reading the article on Yahoo! Finance.


Downtown Lorain pollinator garden planned

The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH)

November 13, 2021

Downtown Lorain could become one of northern Ohio’s newest stops for migrating monarch butterflies.

A pollinator garden committee has formed to plant the new flower patch at the corner of Broadway and West Erie Avenue.

Continue reading this article at the Morning Journal website.


How 2 San Luis Obispo County (CA) property owners are restoring their lands for monarch butterflies

(The San Luis Obispo Tribune) November 7, 2021

San Luis Obispo County farmer Lisen Bonnier of Vintage Organics has a stretch of her farmland that has never grown crops well. It floods and has always been generally “problematic,” she said.

Read more here.

Pollinator-friendly Great Barrington (MA) now putting plan into action

The Berkshire Edge (Berkshire County, MA)

November 4, 2021

Since Great Barrington first enacted its pollinator-friendly resolution five years ago, several other towns in western Massachusetts have taken similar measures. “I’d like to think of Great Barrington as a leader in many ways,” said Town Manager Mark Pruhenski.

Read more.


Pollinator-friendly landscape takes root beneath solar panels in Minnesota

(Star Tribune) July 3, 2021

In Minnesota, at least, the solar farms are generating more than electricity. Instead of turf, bare ground or gravel, the land beneath Enel’s Minnesota installations were all seeded with…Read more.

Charging Ahead with Monarch Butterfly Conservation

(T&D World) June 25, 2021

The industry responds to the monarch butterfly listing decision, subsequent legal and political challenges and continued population declines… Read more.

Rights-of-Way Are for the Birds: Managing power line corridors to help wildlife

(Electrical Contractor) June 14, 2021

Utilities have an opportunity to take vegetation management along their power line rights-of-way (ROWs) beyond simple trimming and mowing, by… Read more.

How Do Animals Safely Cross a Highway? Take a Look.

(NY Times) May 31, 2021

The [Wyoming] Department of Transportation joined with the state wildlife agency and nonprofit groups to create a series of crossings, including the one pictured above. Collisions have dropped by… Read more.

Monarch butterfly finds a new friend in Kandiyohi County

(West Central Tribune) March 30, 2021

Kandiyohi County becomes first county in the state to successfully join the Nationwide Candidate Conservation Agreement for Monarch Butterfly on Energy and Transportation Land. As a participant in the conservation program, … Read more.

TxDOT registers miles of roadside land to help save monarchs

(Austonia) March 10, 2021

The Texas Department of Transportation is dedicating over a million acres of land, including 73,038 miles of center lanes, to the conservation of the iconic monarch butterfly… Read more.

Do Flowers and Solar Power Mix? UIC Researchers Launching Study Into Costs, Benefits

(WTTW) December 11, 2020

Solar energy might be “green” compared to coal or petroleum, but massive utility-scale solar installations, encompassing thousands of acres of panels, aren’t necessarily eco-friendly… Read more.

Minnesota Co-op Among First to Win Permit to Enter Monarch Conservation Plan

An electric cooperative is among the first businesses to win federal recognition of its monarch butterfly conservation practices… Read more.

PennDOT drives project for Erie area pollinator gardens

(GoErie) September 5, 2020

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation invites the public to plant pollinator gardens in northwestern Pennsylvania… Read more.

‘A magical solution’: Solar developers planting flowers that could help save butterflies and bees

(IndyStar) July 8, 2020

For more than a century Logansport’s electricity was generated using gritty black coal. Now, its latest generating facility will feature 80 acres of solar panels, and something far more attractive — Read more.

Hundreds of Rare Bee Orchids Bloom in ‘Pollinator Town’ Midleton

(Irish Examiner) June 4, 2020

Hundreds of specimens of a striking rare orchid have burst into flower on roadsides in one of Ireland’s first pollinator towns. Environmentalists say they have counted 363 individual bee orchids on verges in Midleton…Read more.

Some Surprisingly Powerful Players Have Joined the Fight to Save the Monarch Butterfly

(WTTW) April 9, 2020

This week, UIC’s Energy Resources Center announced the culmination of a nearly three-year effort to develop a nationwide Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA) related to the monarch… Read more.

Monarch Butterfly Gets Protection in ‘Historic’ Deal

(E&E News) April 8, 2020

The Fish and Wildlife Service today unveiled a sweeping, multistate plan to protect the monarch butterfly without adding it to the Endangered Species Act list. A long time in the making, the plan called, in part, a “candidate conservation” agreement unites state and federal officials with energy and transportation industry leaders on a common cause….Read more.

The Western Monarch Thanksgiving & New Year’s Counts

(Western Monarch Count) March 2020

Results from the 2019 Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count are now available! The Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count and New Year’s Count are the product of annual monitoring efforts by volunteer community scientists to collect data on the status of monarch populations overwintering along the California coast (and a few sites from inland areas). Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of these volunteers, we have over 20 years of data demonstrating… Read more. 

Miles of Lines, Miles of Monarch Habitat

(T & D World) January 14, 2020

There is a new and urgent focus among electric and gas utilities to reconsider their land management practices in light of declining insect populations worldwide. This includes the iconic orange-and-black monarch butterfly, which may be listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) as soon as next year… Read more

Enhancing Seed Mixes With Wildflowers

(IECA Environmental Connection) Oct/Nov 2019

When planning your erosion control projects, keep in mind that seed mixes can be enhanced with wildflowers that are vital to domesticated and wild pollinators. Many erosion control projects are…Read more.

New England power line corridors harbor rare bees and other wild things

(The Conversation) October 3, 2019

Ecologically, the swaths of open, scrubby landscapes under transmission lines support a rich and complex menagerie of life, absent in the… Read more

Tennessee Makes Way for the Monarchs

(The New York Times) September 16, 2019

NASHVILLE — A few years ago I started noticing wildflowers blooming beside the highway: ironweed and goldenrod and snakeroot and black-eyed Susan. The first time it happened the sun was in my eyes as I drove west toward…Read more.

PPL’s Talking About the Birds and the Bees, and How it’s Trying to Get Back to Nature

(The Morning Call) September 02, 2019 

Nature seems to take its course in the vibrant hues and quiet activities at a patch of earth between Route 309 and the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. This is PPL Electric Utilities’ test garden at its Walbert Conference Center in South Whitehall Township, a project first seeded in 2017 that’s now bearing flowers and bringing birds, bees and other wildlife to areas beneath giant transmission towers and wires… Read More.

Solar prairie blooms into a ‘living laboratory’

(University of Dayton) August 8, 2019

In less than two years, the University of Dayton has transformed the front lawn of Daniel J. Curran Place into a “living laboratory” dedicated to sustainability. A solar array was installed in 2018 and… Read more.

The Impact is Tremendous: Readers on Wildflower Verges

(The Guardian) July 18, 2019

Catastrophic news for insect life has inspired communities and councils around the UK to take action, generating splashes of summer colour which hope to have a lasting impact. Below, readers share some of their local successes, including thoughts about how leaving nature to run its course by standing back rather than taking action can help – and explain how they have been getting involved in community projects big and small. Read more.

Miles of Lines, Miles of Monarch Habitat

(T & D World) June 2019

There is a new and urgent focus among electric and gas utilities to reconsider their land management practices in light of declining insect populations worldwide. This includes the iconic orange-and-black monarch butterfly, which may be listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) as soon as next year. Read more

City staff buzzing about endangered bee discovery as boulevard preps for another season

(CBC) April 22, 2019

A partnership between the City of Calgary, loads of nature-loving students and select universities is blooming into something exciting. A so-called bee boulevard was created a couple of years ago on Canyon Meadows Drive, and this winter researchers identified an endangered pollinator frequenting the blooms. Read More

Delaware highway project leads to 43-acre bee-supporting meadow

(WHYY) April 09, 2019

When Route 301 was built, the Delaware Department of Transportation was required to offset some of the land it paved over with property left in a natural state. It spurred planting 250,000 tree saplings along the new 14-mile highway in Southern New Castle County but also gave birth to a 43-acre wildflower meadow. The first-of-its-kind offset project seeks to fulfill DelDOT’s environmental requirements while at the same time supporting bees, butterflies and other wildlife. Read More

How can the power industry help the monarch butterfly?

(EPRI  Journal) April 4, 2019

Study identified 10.7 million acres in transmission rights-of-way as potential monarch habitat—about 8.5% of the total needed for monarch restoration and a potentially meaningful contribution. Tim Lohner, PhD consulting environmental specialist at American Electric Power (AEP), estimated conservatively that utility conservation efforts on these land corridors could yield enough milkweed for more than 12 million monarchs, or about 5% of a fully recovered population. Read More

Beneath Solar Panels, the Seeds of Opportunity Sprout

(NREL Transforming Energy) April 2, 2019

Low-Impact Development of Solar Installations Could Be Win-Win-Win for Food, Water, and Renewable Energy

On a humid, overcast day in central Minnesota, a dozen researchers crouch in the grass between rows of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels. Only their bright yellow hard hats are clearly visible above the tall, nearly overgrown prarie grasses—which are growing exactly as expected…Read more

ATC Awards Funds to Communities for Planting Projects

(T & D World) February 08, 2019

American Transmission Co. has awarded collectively $58,600 to 27 recipients across its service area to plant trees and low-growing vegetation through two programs – the Community Planting and Pollinator Planting programs. Now in its sixth year, ATC has given more than 200 community awards for these projects totaling nearly $360,000. Read More

Solar Farms Shine a Ray of Hope on Bees and Butterflies

(Scientific American) January 18, 2019

A trend of planting wildflowers on solar sites could maintain habitat for disappearing bees and butterflies. Read More

In bid to help bees, Xcel to require vegetation disclosure in solar RFPs

(Utility Dive) October 12, 2018

Xcel Energy Minnesota will be the first utility in the U.S. to require disclosure of what type of vegetation will be planted with solar sites in all its future request for proposals. Read More

Roadside Refuge: ODOT Works to Protect Ohio’s Pollinators

(Monarch Joint Venture) September 17, 2018

If you’ve driven along Ohio’s roadsides lately, you may have noticed something’s different. Less of the roadside is being mowed, and milkweed and other native wildflowers are flourishing in those areas.  Read More

Rehabilitating Bee and Butterfly Populations by Allowing Them to Live at Solar Energy Facilities

(PV Buzz) August 21, 2018

By studying solar energy facilities with pollinator habitats on site, researchers hope to rehabilitate pollinator populations that play a crucial role in the national and global agricultural industries. Read More

Got Milkweed? Pollinator Week Is a Time to Shine for Co-op Preservation Efforts

(America’s Electric Cooperatives) June 18, 2018

Electric cooperatives with territories that overlap critical monarch breeding areas and migration routes are devoting land and labor to reverse the decline of monarch butterfly and other key pollinator species. Read More

UIC-led partnership aims to help create, preserve monarch habitat

(UIC Today) June 19, 2018

A new, multi-sector partnership coordinated by the Energy Resources Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago is working together to develop a voluntary conservation agreement to aid the plight of the monarch butterfly. Read More

Creating Pollinator Habitats Along Pipeline Rights-of-Way Helps the Bottomline

(North American Oil & Gas Pipelines) 

Millions of acres of pipeline right-of-way crisscross all types of ecosystems. Maintaining vegetation along this land is a constant challenge and takes time and operating budget. Read More

IDOT cut down on spring mowing to help Illinois pollinator population

(News Tribune) June 12, 2018
SPRINGFIELD — As concerns for declining pollinator species continue to buzz throughout the country, Illinois Department of Transportation is reminding the public of a change in mowing operations designed to encourage the growth of pollinator species along state roadsides. Read More

Saving Monarch Butterflies

(WTMJ-TV) May 17, 2018
See how the American Transmission Company is trying to help create a monarch migration corridor and you can help! Read More

Illinois Reduces Mowing to Spur Habitat

(Quad City Times) September 17, 2017
In a world where loss of habitat is causing a corresponding loss of life, the large amount of state- or government-controlled land along roadways, when taken together, represents a great opportunity to rebuild habitat. See how integrated vegetation management can help. Read More

NAPPC Presents The 2017 Pollinator Roadside Management Award

(Pollinator Partnership) September 12, 2017

The 2017 North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC) Pollinator Roadside Management Award was presented today at the National Roadside Vegetation Management Association’s annual conference in Springfield, Missouri. NAPPC is administered by the Pollinator Partnership (P2); and P2’s Director of Public Affairs, Tom Van Arsdall, was present to acknowledge the awardees. Read More

First Ohio Rest Area for Pollinators and People Now Open!

(Monarch Joint Venture) August 29, 2017

It’s official! The state of Ohio’s first combined travel center and pollinator garden has been opened. This pollinator garden, at the rest area on I-75 south near Bowling Green, will serve as a prototype for Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) planting projects at six other rest areas. Read More


Illinois Habitat Highway: A New Partnership for Wildlife Habitat Conservation

(Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever) August 2, 2017

Pheasants Forever, Quail Forever, and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) have forged a new partnership to manage for pollinator habitat and critical wildlife corridors throughout the state. Read More

National Pollinator Week Kicks off new Monarch Highway Logo

(Winona Daily News) June 16, 2017

As part of the ongoing effort to raise awareness of pollinator habitat and preservation, the Monarch Highway is proud to launch its new logo during National Pollinator Week, June 18-25. Read More

Catch The Buzz – Resolution Designates Interstate 76 As Colorado’s First “Pollinator Highway”

(Bee Culture) May 27, 2017

Colorado became friendlier to pollinators this week by passing the “Colorado Pollinator Highway” Resolution HJR 1029. The Resolution sponsored by Representative KC Becker and Senator Jerry Sonnenberg passed both the House and Senate unanimously and designates Interstate 76 from the Nebraska state line to Arvada, Colorado. Read More

Highways Could Help Bear and Butterflies

(Scientific American) May 19, 2017

Late last August, armed with a sweep net and identification guides, Sarah Piecuch was looking for butterflies. She trudged through waist-deep grasses, trying to keep her footing steady while tallying those she found fluttering through the sky or perched on nearby flowers. Read More

New Jersey Greens Its Highways With Native Plants – and Your State Can, Too

(Audubon) May 18, 2017

New Jersey may be dubbed the Garden State, but for many out-of-towners, it’s better known as a state full of asphalt and headaches, with its snarled parkways, smoggy turnpikes, and wallet-draining interstates. Read More

New IDOT Mowing Approach to Help Protect Monarch Butterfly, Pollinator Populations in Illinois

(Illinois Department of Transportation) May 15, 2017

To help revive the shrinking populations of the monarch butterfly and other pollinators, the Illinois Department of Transportation is adjusting its mowing routine along state highways this spring and summer… Read More

Energy group seeks best practices for restoring pollinator habitats

(Midwest Energy News) May 5, 2017
A growing alliance of industry groups, environmentalists and government agencies are increasingly convinced that habitat restoration in rights-of-way corridors — including for electric transmission lines — could be key to propping up the region’s decimated pollinator population… Read More

A Step Back in Time: 45 Years Ago a “New” Study of Roadside Vegetation Control Was Just Kicking Off

In 1971 the Des Moines Register featured this article on a study at Cornell College (believed to be first of its kind) that looked at establishing native prairie plants along roadsides. Think how far we’ve come! Read More

Governor Mark Dayton Issues Executive Order to Reverse Pollinator Decline and Restore Pollinator Health in Minnesota

(State of Minnesota) August 26, 2016

Governor Mark Dayton today issued Executive Order 16-07, requiring the state to take specific actions to reverse the decline of bees and other pollinator populations… Read More

State Wildlife and Transportation Agencies Work Together to Save Pollinating Species

(Massachusetts Energy & Environmental Affairs) August 24, 2016

State wildlife and transportation officials gathered today at the Route 3, Exit 5 Rest Area in Plymouth to announce a $21,500 grant from the US Fish & Wildlife Service… Read More

Fly Away! Six States and FHWA Will Collaborate to Enhance Pollinator Habitat along New Monarch Highway

(AASHTO News) May 26, 2016

Six state departments of transportation and the Federal Highway Administration signed a memorandum of agreement that will improve pollinator habitat along Interstate 35… Read More

Utilities Take Action on Habitat Restoration

(Electric Perspectives) April 2016

Electricity is the driving force of our modern world. It powers commerce and industry, enables critical advances in science and health care, and contributes … Read More


Just adding pollinators could boost small-farm yields

(Science News) January 21, 2016

Just sending more pollinators into action on small farms around the world could significantly boost crop yields, says a massive new study…

Read More

Saving monarch butterflies gets boost from milkweed planted in Chicago area

(Chicago Tribune) June 19, 2015

Eight-year-old Allison Penley can count on one hand the number of times she’s seen a monarch butterfly on a flower in her backyard: Two.. Read More


Electric Power Rights of Way: A New Frontier for Conservation

(Yale Environment 360) October 16, 2014

This article looks at how Power lines may allow smaller declining vegetation and wildlife to grow alongside the power lines through low growth vegetation. With the sharp decline in pollinators this seems like a viable solution. Read More