A place for pollinators and wildlife
Nestled south of the Dawson Public Power District’s Lexington Headquarters, native grasses and flowering plants sway in the breeze. At first glance, the area appears to have been forgotten. Chain link fence and a recently harvested field of corn create neat rows along the boundary lines. Upon closer inspection, the acre of ground springs to life. Birds burst out of the grass, and there’s evidence of animals bedding down. This is a Pheasants and Quail Forever NextGen Habitat Project.
The program strives to provide a natural habitat for pheasants, quail, grassland birds, mammals and pollinators like bees and butterflies. Habitats adjacent to row crops provide conditions where upland game birds thrive. Wildlife are dependent upon a variety of plants for food, shelter and rearing young. Pheasants and Quail Forever Biologists have created specialized seed mixes based on native plants in Nebraska. The group considers nutrition, nest structure and concealment, thermal protection and shading and loafing areas for young chicks.
In 2017, Dawson PPD was approached by a Pheasants Forever member about planting a habitat. The group previously had a habitat at a local elementary school. Due to the school’s expansion, it could no longer support the habitat.
“It is a beneficial situation all around,” said Purchasing, Facilities and Fleet Manager Jerry Hobelman. “The wildlife benefit from having a safe habitat to live in, the pollinators have a source of food and its low maintenance.”
The Pheasants Forever group planted the seed at no charge and routinely checks the vegetation. Dawson PPD helps manage noxious weeds, but otherwise allows the plants to grow.