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Ameren Transmission partners with Saint Louis Zoo and Parkway students to plant pollinator and monarch butterfly habitats

ST. LOUIS, May 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 60 Ross Elementary second graders rolled up their sleeves yesterday to help Ameren Transmission and the Saint Louis Zoo cultivate pollinator habitats on Ameren Transmission rights of way in St. Louis County.

The students from Parkway School District are helping spread flower and natural grass seeds in an area off of Fee Fee Road in St. Louis County, Missouri, to promote feeding opportunities for bees, butterflies, birds and other pollinating insects.

"As we maintain our rights of way to ensure the safety and reliability our customers count on, we try to take actions to help care for the environment at the same time," said Mary Hetz, manager, Vegetation Management, Ameren Transmission. "Partnering with the Saint Louis Zoo and getting kids involved helps share the message of the importance for creating good habitats."

The Saint Louis Zoo has partnered with Ameren Transmission in developing natural habitats to improve feeding sources for pollinators. "Native bees and monarch butterflies are losing habitat through development, invasive species and certain agricultural practices. This habitat provides food and nesting resources without which they cannot survive," explained Ed Spevak, Ph.D., curator of invertebrates at the Saint Louis Zoo and director of the Zoo's WildCare Institute Center for Native Pollinator Conservation. "Pollinators are incredibly beneficial for the production food that wildlife and humans eat, which is another reason why we need to support them."

One of the goals of the partnership is to educate youth on the importance of pollinators to the nation's food sources. "We're thrilled to participate in a project focused on the environment," said Lisa Luna, principal of Ross Elementary. "Having our kids participate in an activity to improve habitats for insects and birds helps them understand our connection to nature."

Ameren Transmission Vegetation Management suggests the following tips for those interested in supporting natural habitats:

  • Plant native milkweed for monarch butterflies
  • Plant native flowers and shrubs
  • Install bee nest structures
  • Do not spray bees with insecticides
  • For more information and tips, visit stlzoo.org/pollinators

As part of its commitment to customer safety, Ameren also presented a power line safety demonstration to teach children about being safe around electricity.

About Ameren
St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation powers the quality of life for 2.4 million electric customers and more than 900,000 natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile area through its Ameren Missouri and Ameren Illinois rate-regulated utility subsidiaries. Ameren Illinois provides electric delivery and transmission service as well as natural gas delivery service while Ameren Missouri provides vertically integrated electric service, with generating capacity of 10,200 megawatts, and natural gas delivery service. Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois develops regional electric transmission projects. For more information, visit Ameren.com, or follow us at @AmerenCorp, Facebook.com/AmerenCorp, or LinkedIn/company/Ameren.

About the Saint Louis Zoo
Chosen as America's top free attraction and best zoo in USA Today 10Best Readers' Choice Awards, the Saint Louis Zoo is widely recognized for its innovative approaches to animal care and management, wildlife conservation, research and education. One of the few free zoos in the nation, the Zoo attracts more than 3,000,000 visitors a year. For more information, visit stlzoo.org, facebook.com/stlzoo, instagram.com/stlzoo, twitter.com/stlzoo, youtube.com/stlzootube.


SOURCE Ameren Corporation

For further information: Lori Light, Ameren, 314-554-2182, llight@ameren.com; or Christy Childs, Saint Louis Zoo, 314-646-4639, childs@stlzoo.org