Several organizations are working together to create a habitat for pollinators in Green Bay’s Wildlife Sanctuary. Local 5’s Kris Schuller reports it all starts with acres of native vegetation for butterflies and bees, planted earlier today.
Under high-voltage transmission lines owned by American Transmission Company, a number of people gather, getting ready to create the perfect setting to assist the many butterflies and bees, who need a little help.
“Pollinators are an important part of our ecosystem,” said Alissa Braatz, spokesperson for the project. “They propagate our nation’s food source. There are several species of pollinators whose populations are in decline mainly due to loss of habitat.”
This habitat is being created on two acres of ATC’s right of way – right next to the Wildlife Sanctuary, that two years ago looked like an overgrown mess that ATC knew and Mike Reed from the sanctuary hoped – could be put to better use.
“When they wanted to remove invasive woody species out here, plant some prairie good for our pollinators, we were very enthused about it,” said Reed.
In 2015 the existing vegetation was removed and herbicides applied a year later. Today it was now time to sow with 50 pounds of seed, all native prairie grasses and flowers supplied by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
“There are 18 different seeds compiled in this seed mix we’re spreading here today,” Braatz said.
For ATC this is a first of its kind, a pilot program that if successful could soon have these seeds growing all across the state.
“What we’re anticipating is that we would take this initiative into other rights of way,” said Braatz.
“To be able to provide an area that will be high quality for butterflies, moths and bees is an important thing to do,” said Reed.
These are truly seeds of change – sown to benefit butterflies and bees.