OAKWOOD, Ill. (WCIA) — Ameren is growing a cost-saving effort with a pollinator pocket. The power company teamed up with an environmental group to save money and endangered species.

The first thing you’ll notice is a variety of plants where you typically see overgrown weeds and thickets. Ameren and Pheasants Forever carefully picked out the plant species that went into the two acres of land in Oakwood.

But the plan is to spread this out across the state where pollinators can thrive. That includes bees and monarch butterflies, which were recently added to the endangered species list.

The benefits of this project will also help save Ameren customers some money.

“When you replace that plant community with a shorter growing plant community, like a native pollinator-friendly installation, once its established, it only really requires mowing once a year maybe twice,” said Ameren environmental scientist Jennifer Porcelli. “So, the maintenance costs are less and that’s savings we can pass on to our customers.”

Pollinator prairies like these also make for a safer site for Ameren crews to pass through without the need for heavy equipment

Ameren Illinois, Ameren Missouri and Ameren transmission are all adopting this pollinator pocket movement. Their initiative to plant native pollinators is one they would like to see grow beyond their company.