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Associated plots for pollinators

2 Staff planting milkweed plugs in field. Thomas Hill power plant in background.
Collaboration is part of the co-op’s culture and extends to other environmental projects. Associated staff serves on the steering committee of “Missourians for Monarchs,” a collaborative group, and Associated has allocated 32 acres and funds to develop pollinator habitat. Spring 2018, staff plant more than 2,400 milkweed plugs. Photo courtesy of Rural Missouri

Associated received a $45,000 grant in 2017 from the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation for monarch butterfly habitat. Matching the grant with funds and in-kind labor, Associated has developed habitat on 32 acres at Thomas Hill Energy Center that it continues to cultivate and improve.

Monarch butterfly populations have declined 90 percent in the last 20 years, putting them at risk for listing as an endangered species. That could have an adverse impact on Associated and its members by creating restrictions that make it more difficult and costly to site and maintain transmission facilities and rights of way.

Instead, cooperatives have allied to protect pollinators, which are important to agriculture, natural landscapes and quality of life.

Staff continue to serve on the Missourians for Monarchs steering committee also.

Co-ops have gone to bat for bats too

picture of bat being held

Member cooperatives have longed partnered to protect habitat and species while ensuring reliable electricity for members. For example, Missouri cooperatives received the Conservation Federation of Missouri's esteemed Conservation Organization of the Year award in 2017 for their past work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on an agreement to protect endangered species, like the Indiana bat.

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