Your local electric co-op is using its power to deliver more than electricity. Piedmont Electric has partnered with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) Wildflower Program to plant a pollinator field of sunflowers alongside I-40 Westbound at the Buckhorn Road exit in Mebane.
These sunflowers will do more than brighten up the highway. Wildflowers support a wide variety of pollinators such as the honey bee and monarch butterfly which contribute to the production of local crops.
Three-fourths of the world’s flowering plants depend on pollinators to reproduce. The honey bee alone contributes to the production of billions of dollars of crops in the United States every year, according to the NCDOT.
“We’re a part of this vibrant community and as such it’s our responsibility to take care of our environment and support our local communities which include our farmers,” said Susan Cashion, Piedmont Electric VP, Chief Compliance and Administrative Officer. “Growing this pollinator field in our service area through this partnership with the NCDOT will have far-reaching benefits beyond those needed for our farms and wildlife.”
Be on the lookout for black oil sunflowers blooming off Exit 157 this September and October. These smaller variety sunflowers are annuals and are a favorite among common birds such as cardinals and goldfinches.
In spring 2020, a larger variety sunflower will be planted at this exit that also attracts butterflies, bees and humming birds. These towering 4-6 foot sunflowers will bloom in July and August of 2020.
To learn more about the NCDOT Wildflower Program or for information on starting your own pollinator garden visit www.ncdot.gov/wildflower.
Piedmont Electric is a local, member-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperative serving more than 32,000 electric accounts in Alamance, Caswell, Durham, Granville, Person and Orange counties. Piedmont Electric exists to serve our members and improve the quality of life in our communities through local employment, economic development, business engagement, youth education, grants to educators, advocacy for energy issues, community involvement, broadband connectivity and emergency preparedness support. Visit www.pemc.coop for more information.