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Partnerships & Pollinators: Mississinewa Habitat Project

Jan 17, 2024


  • MJV Partnership News
  • Habitat News

Exciting developments are underway on Indiana's public lands as partnerships and pollinator habitats continue to flourish, thanks to the generosity of the Duke Energy Foundation, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, and multiple partners.

In a joint effort between the Monarch Joint Venture (MJV), the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IN DNR), The Bee & Butterfly Habitat Fund, the Indiana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, the Central Indiana Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever Chapter, the Bobwhite Habitat Chapter of Quail Forever, the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation, and the Northeast Indiana Chapter of Safari Club International, 60 acres of prairie pollinator habitat will be established at Mississinewa Lake over the course of this year.

Mississinewa Lake is a 14,000-acre state-managed property located in north-central Indiana. The property offers a wide range of recreational activities. As one of the three Upper Wabash flood-control reservoirs, it offers opportunities for boating, fishing, hunting, wildlife photography and viewing.

“Duke Energy has a strong commitment to climate resiliency and sustainability. We’re proud to support the work of the Monarch Joint Venture and the Prairie Pollinator Restoration Project at Mississinewa Lake. Their leadership and drive to impact the communities we serve will create benefits for years to come,” said Kim Vogelgesang, Duke Energy Foundation Manager.

“These partnerships play a pivotal role in facilitating large-scale habitat projects, which are essential for the well-being of pollinators and countless other species. By combining resources, expertise, and a shared commitment to conservation, we are collectively spearheading the creation of a thriving, healthy ecosystem,” said Jake Koenig, MJV Midwest Habitat Coordinator.

The advantages of establishing this new prairie pollinator habitat extend well beyond monarchs and other pollinators themselves. By cultivating a diverse and thriving ecosystem, an array of species will also reap the benefits. From songbirds to gamebirds, from reptiles to insects, the habitat will serve as a haven for a wide range of flora and fauna, nurturing biodiversity and enhancing the overall health of the region's natural environment.

“When the opportunity to partner with Monarch Joint Venture to procure wildflower and warm season grass seed for Mississinewa was initially discussed, I was somewhat skeptical. However, after some interaction with folks on your side of the topic, it quickly became apparent that the passion for such projects existed on both sides of the aisle. Through relatively little effort from the staff at Mississinewa, we secured more funding for seed than I thought possible. Without this coordination and the work from MJV, none of this would have been possible,” said Aron Showalter, IN DNR Wildlife Biologist.

“Our Chapter is excited to be a partner on the Prairie Pollinator Restoration Project at Mississinewa. Part of the mission of PFQF is to preserve and create quality habitat for upland birds, of which pollinators and other wildlife will benefit. Mississinewa is not far from our chapter area so our members will be able to easily witness their conservation dollars at work. We were very glad to be able to contribute to the improvement and biodiversity of Indiana’s natural resources,” said Amanda Atkinson, Central Indiana Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever Chapter President.

Thanks to the dedication and collaboration of multiple partners, Indiana's public lands are becoming more biodiverse. Our collective efforts are a testament to the power of collaboration and the profound impact that can be achieved when diverse organizations come together for the betterment of our natural resources.

About the Project’s Partners

Learn more about the partners participating this this project via their websites below:

Photo Credit: Pete Berthelsen