Hanna City, Ill. (WMBD) — Ameren Illinois and Pheasants and Quail Forever, a national conservation organization, have teamed up, and they’re swapping out 18 acres of non-native plants for plants that benefit both the local ecosystem at Wildlife Prairie Park and the company.
“This area was full of incompatible, woody vegetation. They had bush honeysuckle, autumn olive, and other plants that would threaten the safety and reliability of growing right underneath the power lines. So, we changed that plant community for a different one. One that’s native plants and grasses that cater to our pollinators,” said Ameren Illinois Environmental Scientist Jennifer Porcelli.
The project will not only cut down on potential hazards around lines, but also reduce the cost of upkeep around the lines.
“Our Illinois River Valley chapter came in and helped with the seed mix and were able to put that down on the ground to get what you have behind me right now,” said Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever Regional Representative Aaron Williams.
The changes will provide habitats for bees, birds, and even monarch butterflies, which have been having a declining population across the continent.
“We’re able to put native grasses and native seeds back into the ground in order to have a place. So, pollinator mix for us is specific to this environment, to the soil type, and at the same time it’s good pheasant brooding, quail brooding,” said Williams.