Green Plains has announced monarch butterfly habitats will be established at its Shenandoah and Superior, Iowa biofuel facilities. The projects are part of the Monarch Fueling Station Project by Iowa Renewable Fuels Association and the Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium to create patches of native grasses and other pollinator-friendly plants for the monarchs as they migrate through the state. The initiative has established 19 fueling stations covering 48 acres since it kicked off in 2017.
The site in Shenandoah is 1.75 acres and seeding is expected to take place in the spring of 2022. “We’re happy to contribute to this statewide project,” said Cory Scamman, general manager, Green Plains Shenandoah LLC. “This initiative is doing great work to preserve an important species and we look forward to establishing a habitat on our property.”
At Superior they plan to establish the habitat on a field currently being used to grow hay. The plant will start by converting one or two acres but there is potential to expand the habitat by several acres. “I think it’s important to promote habitat for endangered pollinators like the monarch,” said Tod Smith, plant manager, Green Plains Superior LLC. “I’m looking forward to having a fueling station for them in the Superior area.”
The location and size of both habitats was decided in consultation with Habitat Establishment Coordinator Kevin Reynolds.