Cooperative News

PEC efforts seek to preserve wildlife

Learn about new planting practices and monarch butterfly way station

Each year, millions of monarch butterflies migrate directly across PEC’s 8,100 square miles of service territory. But by 2021, monarchs may fall under the Endangered Species Act, which could impact electric cooperatives’ ability to maintain transmission easements in a cost-effective manner. That’s why we’ve proactively launched efforts to help protect monarchs. And we’ve voluntarily implemented solutions that will help benefit our environment, wildlife, and members long term.

“As good stewards of our environment, we identified a prime opportunity to protect our area’s precious resources,” PEC Environmental Manager Nina Alexander said. “We’re excited to be a leader in monarch and wildlife conservation to positively impact the Texas Hill Country and our members.”

Easement planting practices

Recently, we began using a new seed mix along our easements. Plants from the new mix have a shorter maturity height and are attractive food for animals, including deer and cattle. As faunae eat, they mow for us. New edible easements also keep wildlife off the roads and include flowers that attract butterflies and other pollinators. These easements can become microhabitats for sustaining life, filling a similar role to greenbelts.

Where easements run through private property, we work directly with landowners to ensure there are no issues with planting. These efforts help reduce the need for vegetation maintenance and are projected to generate significant savings for the cooperative.

Monarch way stations

Additionally, we created a new monarch way station at our headquarters in Johnson City that is certified and registered by Monarch Watch — a nonprofit that aims to create, conserve, and protect monarch habitats across North America.

Soon, we hope to add more way stations across our service territory to promote generations of monarchs and pollinators that positively influence our environment.

Get involved!

Those interested in creating monarch-friendly areas are encouraged to reach out to PEC experts. Email us at [email protected].

Download our helpful tips to create and maintain your flourishing butterfly way station.

Free pollinator seed packets

PEC wants to make it easy for you to join our effort to save monarchs. Pick up a free packet of pollinator seed mix at any PEC office. The mix contains native wildflowers including milkweed, an essential plant for butterfly survival.

We’re proud to partner with community organizations to help share these packets.

Participating locations include:

City of Buda and Buda Public Library: 405 Loop St., Buda, Texas 78610

City of Bulverde: 30360 Cougar Bend, Bulverde, Texas 78163

City of Burnet: 1001 Buchanan Drive, Suite 4, Burnet, Texas 78611

City of Lago Vista: 5803 Thunderbird Drive, Lago Vista, Texas 78645

City of San Marcos Discovery Center: 430 Riverside Drive, San Marcos, Texas 78666

Blanco County Community Resource Center: 206 S. U.S. Highway 281, Johnson City, Texas 78636

Fair Oaks Ranch Country Club: 7900 Fair Oaks Parkway, Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas 78015

Hays Communities YMCA: 465 Buda Sportsplex Drive, Buda, Texas 78610

Lake Travis Community Library: 1938 Lohmans Crossing Road, Austin, Texas 78734

Mammen Family Public Library: 131 Bulverde Crossing, Bulverde, Texas 78163

Onion Creek Senior Center: 420 Barton Crossing, Buda, Texas 78610

Patrick Heath Public Library: 451 N. Main St., Building. 100, Boerne, Texas 78006

San Marcos Public Library: 625 E. Hopkins St., San Marcos, Texas 78666

The Science Mill: 101 S. Lady Bird Lane, Johnson City, Texas 78636

The Meadows Center at Texas State University: 201 San Marcos Springs Drive, San Marcos, Texas 78666

Tye Preston Memorial Library: 16311 S. Access Road, Canyon Lake, Texas 78133

Village of The Hills: 102 Trophy Drive, The Hills, Texas 78738

Wimberley Community Library: 400 Farm-to-Market Road 2325 Wimberley, Texas 78676

Wimberley Valley Chamber of Commerce, Convention Center and Visitors Bureau: 14100 Farm-to-Market Road 2325, Wimberley, Texas 78676