Pollinator Initiative

Pollinators are vital and their population is shrinking. Most flowering plants depend on pollinators like honey bees and monarch butterflies to produce fruit and seeds, but unfortunately many of the needed species are shrinking towards extinction.

We are supporting the fight to save the pollinators by looking for opportunities to plant milkweed (a plant essential in the lifecycle of monarchs) and other native nectar-producing plants along right-of-way corridors and other Xcel Energy land. With our northern service territory coinciding with the Monarch Migration Corridor from Minnesota to Texas, we see tremendous potential to be a leader in creating and restoring pollinator habitat, and educating interested customers who are eager to help. We are always looking for new opportunities to include native prairie plants and implement other environmentally sound practices at our current and future facilities.  Contact Us.

View photos of some of our habitats.

Pollinator sites

Map (JPG) of current and potential sites.

We have been supporting the development and maintenance of pollinator habitat for over 25 years. We currently have more than 1,300 acres of active and potential pollinator habitat at 30 different sites in Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin.

Xcel Energy partnered with the City of Burnsville and worked to restore a native prairie in 2018 to plant three acres of native prairie under our transmission lines. We are also restoring native habitat next to our company headquarters in Eau Claire. 

In May 2018, we planted a pollinator habitat in Minot, North Dakota outside the new Magic City Substation. Xcel Energy crews partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to plant 40 acres of native seed.

In 2017, we partnered with the city of Bloomington to plant a six acre habitat under our transmission lines. Lawmakers, community leaders and children from Valley View Elementary assisted with planting flowers at the site.

In 2016, we planted a seven acre pollinator habitat around our new First Lake Substation in Monticello, Minnesota.

A commemoration event was held at the substation in July 2016. School kids were invited to help with the planting.


Only a year later, pictured below, their hard work paid off as the habitat has grown substantially.

In 2015, we signed the Pollinator Pledge committing at least 50 acres in the St. Croix River Valley to pollinator-friendly habitat. The Pollinator Pledge is an initiative launched by the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service. In addition, in 2015 crews planted native pollinator plants on seven acres of new transmission line right of way at a Boy Scout camp near Town of Holland, Wis.

In 2008, we restored 20 acres of native prairie land around the High Bridge Generating Station in St. Paul.

In 2005, we partnered with the City of Cottage Grove and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to restore 60 acres of native prairie habitat in large areas of right-of-way under Xcel Energy transmission line in the city.






Additional Information

Pollinator photo gallery

Pollinator Fact Sheet (PDF)

Pollinator Pledge (PDF)

EEI Article – Utilities take action on habitat restoration (PDF)