Indiana American Water has recently planted more than 18 acres of prairie grasslands across the state with various partners like the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Pheasants Forever, Quail Forever, and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
Prairie grasslands is a general term that consists of native flowers and grasses. The root system of prairie grasslands reaches from six to eight feet underground, compared to the mere four inches of common grass. The longer roots help to reduce stormwater runoff and enable the plantings to remove harmful nutrients and bacteria.
In addition to improving water quality, prairie grasslands attract butterflies and endangered pollinators by supplying food in the form of pollen and nectar.
Indiana American Water was recognized by the Pollinator Partnership last year for its contribution to the conservation of monarchs and other pollinators. Pollinators play a critical function for row crop, fruit, and vegetable production.
Prairie grass planting locations for 2020 included Smith Valley, Orme, Richmond service center, and the Northwest tank in Richmond. Indiana American Water plans to do similar plantings at the Kokomo reservoir later this year.