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AECI receives grant to build monarch habitat

Associated Electric Cooperative will receive more than $45,000 through the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation to develop habitat at its Thomas Hill Energy Center for the monarch butterfly – which has experienced a 90 percent decline in the last 20 years.

The Missouri foundation received one of 23 new grants totaling $3.77 million from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, which recently announced its third year of funding for the Monarch Butterfly Conservation Fund. Overall, funded projects will leverage more than $5.85 million in matching funds, for a total of $9.62 million to protect, conserve and increase habitat for the monarch butterfly, according to NFWF’s news release.

Associated Electric has proactively worked to protect the monarch butterfly, and at the same time keep electricity reliable and affordable for the six regional and 51 local electric cooperatives that own the member-owned wholesale power generator.

Associated helped sponsor the first Missouri Monarch and Pollinator Conservation Strategy meeting in 2015, attended by private individuals and representatives of 32 state organizations. Associated continues to serve on the steering committee “Missourians for Monarchs,” a collaborative group of citizens, conservation and agricultural organizations, government agencies, utilities and agribusinesses committed to pollinator conservation.

Associated and five other members of Missourians for Monarchs jointly submitted the final proposal to the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation for a grant of $250,000 to build monarch habitats.


As announced, Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation will receive more than $244,000. Matching funds will bring the total project to more than $550,000. The foundation plans to implement on-the-ground monarch habitat establishment and enhancement to meet goals set in the Missouri Monarch and Pollinator Conservation Plan. The project will work with partners to restore and enhance nearly 300 acres throughout rural, urban and suburban landscapes across the state.

Associated Electric plans to use grant funds to establish monarch habitat on 32 acres at its reclaimed Prairie Hill mine, said Rob LeForce, a senior environmental analyst at the cooperative. The land would be cultivated into a native pollinator meadow, including milkweed, native forbs and flowers.

Associated Electric has a long history of environmental commitment and collaboration with agencies to protect and preserve natural resources. The cooperative partnered with the Missouri Department of Conservation, the Conservation Federation of Missouri and the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives to create a habitat demonstration plot at AMEC headquarters in Jefferson City.

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Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. is owned by and provides wholesale power to six regional and 51 local electric cooperative systems in Missouri, southeast Iowa and northeast Oklahoma that serve more than 875,000 members. Associated’s mission is to provide an economical and reliable power supply and support services to its members, including the “Take Control & Save” energy efficiency program, Associated is a Touchstone Energy Cooperative.

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