Crow Wing Power’s pollinator projects are coming to life and producing beautiful places for butterflies and bees to consume and spread pollen, which ultimately insures the regeneration of more plants to sustain the insects’ future.
I made several day trips in a quest to see if our wildflower planting efforts around substations was making headway. Two years ago, we chose four Crow Wing County substations that were suitable for converting perimeter grass areas to wildflower pollinator plants. Year two we were hopeful we would see some blossoms.
I started at the Nokay substation, south of the Crow Wing County fairgrounds. This second year planting, according to projections, should be producing blooming flowers. It was a disappointment – very few flowers and a lot of unwanted weeds greeted me.
Next I drove further south to the Dewing sub. As I drove down a gravel road in southern Crow Wing County, I could see a golden hue rising from a farm field ahead. I knew that had to be it. Whomever is lucky enough to have to drive by this substation in their neighborhood, has the opportunity to see a multitude of golden black-eyed susans and other flowers surrounding our substation. It was beautiful.
Then, I drove to Pine Centersubstation, hoping for another burstof color. It also was glowing with color – another successful planting.
The fourth substation we had planted seeds in two years ago was near Crosslake. As I approached the area, once again I could see the ground overcome with flowers – a third success.
Minnesota Native Landscapes out of Otsego is managing the project for a few years to insure its success.
Last fall, we also planted two Morrison County substations and will hopefully see them blooming next summer.
According to Minnesota Native Landscapes, some areas take several years to establish.
Crow Wing Power had determined several years ago that it may be beneficial to plant flowers to help sustain potentially distinct insects rather than spend money mowing grass.
Substations transform high voltage electricity for use in homes and businesses. Stay well away from fences around substations.
Note: Crow Wing and Morrison County Soil and Water Conservation Districts have both provided matching dollars to help Crow Wing Power with this nature project.