MINNEAPOLIS - Jan. 22, 2010 - CenterPoint Energy employees in Minnesota recently completed a 10-year plan to restore 23 acres of the company’s land along the Minnesota River in Burnsville to its native prairie state. They had joined forces with the City of Burnsville, Prairie Restorations, Inc. and environmental agencies such as The Nature Conservancy, Friends of Minnesota Valley, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and Great River Greening to restore natural plants, grasses and wildflowers indigenous to the Minnesota River Valley and remove non-native, invasive plants, such as buckthorn.
“Our native prairie remnants are an important component of the diverse natural features that we treasure here in Burnsville. I truly appreciate all the work that CenterPoint Energy has done to restore and protect this wonderful asset for our community, and the Minnesota River Valley,” said Elizabeth B. Kautz, mayor of the City of Burnsville. “This restoration exemplifies the spirit of cooperation and environmental stewardship that is critical to the success of our efforts to become a more sustainable community. Burnsville looks forward to continuing the valuable partnership that has been forged over the past 10 years.”
“We are proud to support and help to restore a captivating and beautiful parcel of land that had become overgrown with invasive trees and shrubs,” said Glenn Miller, environmental programs manager for CenterPoint Energy. “We’re grateful to share in this opportunity to give back to the great state of Minnesota, and we hope our volunteer efforts will help stress the importance of environmental awareness and natural resource preservation throughout our communities.”
Each year since the beginning of the restoration process, the company performed prescribed burns, mowed grass and used retardants that inhibit the re-growth of buckthorn and other invasive plants. The restoration effort also required cutting and removal of certain trees and shrubs and native seed collecting and planting. Completion of the restoration effort resulted in:
- removal of 80 diseased box elder trees,
- clearing of 16 acres f buckthorn and exotic shrubs,
- planting 2,000 plugs of Cord Grass and
- planting of seeds native to Minnesota River Valley, such as,
- Yellow Coneflower,
- Prairie Bush Clover,
- Stiff Goldenrod,
- Wild Bergamot,
- Hoary Vervain,
- Blue Vervain,
- Sawtooth Sunflower,
- Mountain Mint,
- Great Blue Lobelia and
- Joe Pye Weed.
CenterPoint Energy will continue to manage and support future Minnesota prairie land restoration projects through its environmental programs department. Additional information about CenterPoint Energy’s projects in the community is available at www.centerpointenergy.com/community. Minnesota residents can also find out how to help restore Minnesota’s prairie lands by visiting Great River Greening on their Web site (www.greatrivergreening.org) or calling 651-665-9500.
CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission and distribution, natural gas distribution, competitive natural gas sales and services, interstate pipelines and field services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas. Assets total nearly $19 billion. With about 8,800 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 135 years. In Minnesota, CenterPoint Energy is the state’s largest natural gas distribution utility, serving nearly 790,000 customers in 260 communities. The utility also operates a non-regulated business in Minnesota called Home Service Plus®. For more information, visit the Web site at www.CenterPointEnergy.com.