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We’ve committed to 350 acres of additional pollinator habitat with native species to be established or under development by 2025. In 2018 and 2019, we planted approximately 51 acres of pollinator habitat at power stations and we are planning a 10-acre pilot project at the Chestnut Solar facility in North Carolina. While the cancellation of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline forced us to scale back our earlier commitment — 450 acres of the original 500-acre commitment were associated with the ACP — we continue to look for other opportunities to develop additional pollinator habitats on our properties and rights-of-way.
We seek to create and foster pollinator habitats throughout our operational footprint. Bath County Power Station implemented conservation practices to manage 99 acres for pollinators and wildlife. A planting of one acre of native plant species was completed to increase diversity. Controlling woody species and invasive species is accomplished by selective mowing in small sections. To protect ground-nesting birds, no mowing in these areas is conducted during the nesting season. Each year only one third of the entire area is mowed so that wildlife can utilize the remaining acreage for food and cover. In addition, we’ve planted pollinator plots at nine other power stations.
In West Virginia, we constructed a potager garden at Marlinton Elementary School. Teachers used the greenhouse and garden planters to tie classroom learning to real-life scenarios: Students planted, tended, and harvested produce that was then used to prepare meals in the school cafeteria. We are also working with the U.S. Forest Service to plan for a pollinator area within the garden.