Months of hard work is starting to pay off at Alabama Power‘s pollinator plots as new flowers have appeared, attracting thousands of pollinators necessary for healthy and productive native and agricultural ecosystems.
Josh Yerby heads the pollinator project for the company’s recreation group. He said seeds planted at the plots in 2019 are now blooming.
“We have worked with a company called Roundstone Native Seed to develop a specific seed blend for this soil type and habitat type,” Yerby said. “There’s many species of flowers blooming and all native to this area. There’s many pollinators out here on these flowers taking advantage of it.”
Bees pollinate a majority of the world’s plants, but butterflies, moths, beetles, flies, hummingbirds, lizards and bats are all pollinators that plants depend on. Yerby said much of the food we eat depends on these pollinators having places to work.
“Most plants cannot produce fruit or even seeds unless they are pollinated,” Yerby said. “Pollination is an important part of a plant’s life cycle and for us, too, because much of the food we eat is the result of pollinators.”
Yerby said Alabama Power began developing pollinator plots after noticing a general decline in pollinator populations across the country. He said some of the company’s 65 recreation sites were quickly identified as ideal locations, including two 1-acre plots at Little Fox Creek Preserve on the Lake Harris Reservoir. Yerby said an average of 100 people visit those plots every weekend.
“Everybody loves it,” Yerby said. “They like to see all of the pollinators, the bees and butterflies within the plot. They think it’s beautiful.”
The pollinator project is part of The Preserves, Alabama Power’s 65 public recreational sites located along its 3,500 miles of shoreline in the state. The company currently maintains five pollinator-friendly plots at three of those sites: two at Little Fox Creek Preserve, two at Double Cove Park at Logan Martin Lake and one at Beeswax Park at Lay Lake. A sixth plot is under development at Slackland Beach on Weiss Lake.
Yerby hopes to add more pollinator-friendly plots in years to come.
“I’m hoping that it continues to improve,” Yerby said. “It makes me feel good knowing that something we’ve worked so hard on has been successful.”