Powering Our Pollinators
Contributed by Alicia Kroll
Alicia has been passionate about protecting the environment since childhood, growing
up exploring many state and local parks. She studied Zoology at the University of
Minnesota-Mankato, and worked in the animal care field for 10 years. Alicia can now be
found ensuring billing accuracy as a Member Account Analyst at ECE. She is excited to use
her knowledge of wildlife conservation to create pollinator-friendly landscapes at ECE. She
also volunteers at Wild Paws Midwest Animal Sanctuary, which focuses on rescuing native,
carnivore species displaced from the wild.
January 4, 2019
Welcome to the first edition of Powering Our Pollinators.
Imagine a peaceful, breezy afternoon in your yard or garden. As you enjoy the warm breeze, you see a monarch butterfly softly floating by. Now, listen closely. Do you hear the buzz of a distant bee? Perhaps you swat at a fly that’s making circles around your head. These are our pollinators, and they need help.
Who am I and how did our pollinator project get started?
The great outdoors is where I most wanted to be as a child. Camping, hiking and fishing were three of my favorite activities. That love of nature followed me into adulthood, and I graduated from college with a degree in zoology. I spent many years working at an animal rescue facility, where I learned of the delicate balance between the natural world and the role humans play. While I no longer work directly with animals, East Central Energy (ECE) has given me an opportunity to use my knowledge and passion in a new way.
With the plight of the pollinator now making front page news, many organizations are stepping up to help. I learned of other electric cooperatives building pollinator gardens and large monarch waystations and posed this question to our CEO: Can ECE do more? He immediately said yes. With the help of several other team members, we are researching sites that could be converted from turf grass to pollinator-friendly habitat.
What can you expect?
The Powering Our Pollinators blog will bring you updates on all our pollinator projects and share why protecting pollinators is important. It will also be a forum to discuss how our Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM) system promotes pollinator habitat in our rights-of-way. I am excited to get started on this project and hope to share some ways you, as a member, can get involved in helping pollinators too. Catch the next installment, where we will discuss the importance of pollinators and what we hope to accomplish.