Planting pollinator-friendly habitat to celebrate 65 years of community giving


Picture: General Mills volunteers planted a pollinator garden plot at Westwood Hills Nature Center as part of the Foundation’s 65th  anniversary celebration


Great River Greening is pleased to be among the recipients of a commemorative grant celebrating the General Mills Foundation’s 65th anniversary.

The foundation awarded $100,000 to GRG for a suite of pollinator projects that have conservation impact and touch multiple communities throughout the state.

“General Mills has long been a leader in programs that promote sustainability. Great River Greening is honored to be considered a partner in this tradition. Choosing pollinators as a focus for our work together is timely and exciting. Insect pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, and wasps, are an important part of food production for humans and wildlife, and for plant reproduction in Minnesota and the world.” – Great River Greening Executive Director, Deborah Karasov

The projects supported by the General Mills Foundation grant include three pollinator garden plots, located in a St. Louis Park nature center, a school forest in Clear Lake, and the Chanhassen nature preserve.

Todd Rexine, a GRG ecologist, said that such plots are typically enclosed areas where native plants are allowed to grow without disturbance from deer, rabbits and other browsers. Once plants mature, they can be divided and used to restore the site.

A fourth project lies along highway 52 in Vermillion Township, which bisects 155-acres of small family farms leased through the Hmong American Farm Association, making it a particularly beneficial area for pollinator corridor.

Mary Jane Laird, Executive Director of the General Mills Foundation, said:

“We are so pleased that these Great River Greening pollinator projects will help commemorate General Mills Foundation’s 65th anniversary in a beautiful manner that will leave an ongoing legacy of impact.”

Great River Greening is across the state on vegetation restoration with pollinator management as a key focus.  Our partners include conservation organizations, businesses and government agencies across the Twin Cities, as well as in Greater Minnesota. Working with a variety of partners allows us to merge the best science from many fields and combine elements of pollinator habitat, research, and citizen engagement.