What can you grow under electric transmission lines? Plants for butterflies, bees and other pollinators are one idea. A new multi-partner project, called A Monarch Right-of-Way: A Pollinator Demonstration Plot, is underway at Ohio State’s Mansfield campus, and CFAES’s Marne Titchenell and Denise Ellsworth are part of it.
A story about the project by Christina Drain of the campus starts like this:
The brown misshapen circles of dead grass in the quarter-acre plot between Ovalwood Hall and a student parking lot barely hint at what’s to come, but next spring the land under the First Energy transmission lines will transform into the beginnings of a vibrant garden of flowers and grasses conducive to pollinators.
Read her whole story here.
Pollinator populations are dropping, in part due to habitat loss. Of note, numbers of the familiar monarch butterfly, which is pictured, have plummeted 90 percent. Planting electric transmission line right-of-ways with pollinator-friendly plants would help them. It would also help the estimated one in three of our food crops that need pollinators.