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Plant Iowa Beautiful Builds Pollinator Habitats in 10 Counties
Iowa Ag Connection - 05/12/2022

The Plant Iowa Beautiful project will build pollinator habitats in 10 counties across Iowa this year. Locations include Cerro Gordo, Jasper, Jefferson, Keokuk, Lee, Lucas, Marshall, Story, Washington and Winneshiek counties. Keep Iowa Beautiful and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, with support from the Alliant Energy Foundation, announced the project May 10.

Pollinator plots provide easy access for creatures that move pollen and are vital to the well-being of the ecosystem. The plots will contain native plants and grasses.

"Keep Iowa Beautiful is proud of our partnership with the Alliant Energy Foundation, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and 4-H to launch Plant Iowa Beautiful," said Kevin Techau, executive director of Keep Iowa Beautiful. "This program will engage members of 4-H clubs and community members to learn about pollinators in all phases of a pollinator garden while promoting civic beautification, conservation and environmental education."

Bees and other pollinators are essential to the sustainability, availability and diversity of fresh produce and other foods. With escalating threats including pesticides, drought and habitat destruction causing decline in pollinator populations, pollinator habitats are increasingly needed.

"This is an amazing project as it involves multiple partners, both across campus and with 10 county extension and outreach locations. It is truly an example of the land grant mission in action," said Lynne Campbell, education specialist and principal investigator for the grant. "We are grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with the Alliant Energy Foundation and Keep Iowa Beautiful to plant these habitats across Iowa. Our partnerships across campus will be instrumental in the project as well, with The Green Umbrella student organization and our collaboration with the landscape architecture class and Facilities Planning and Management."

Alliant Energy's Foundation is supporting the work of Keep Iowa Beautiful with an $80,000 Impact Grant.

"The Keep Iowa Beautiful mission and its work to create pollinator plots across Iowa aligns perfectly with Alliant Energy's environmental stewardship goals," said Julie Bauer, executive director of Alliant Energy's Foundation. "It is more important than ever to create spaces for Iowa's pollinators to flourish. We are proud to support this project and make a significant and positive impact to Iowa's ecosystem."

Keep Iowa Beautiful was established in 2000 by former Governor Robert D. Ray and retired Chairman of Casey's General Stores Donald F. Lamberti, becoming the 23rd State Affiliate of Keep America Beautiful. It is a 501c3 charitable organization working with Iowa citizens, neighborhoods and communities in improving the vitality and cultural health of the state of Iowa. KIB is building stronger communities to develop sustainable futures. For additional information, visit www.keepiowabeautiful.com.


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