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BGE to make Md. electric rights-of-way into homes for pollinators

An adult monarch butterfly on a branch. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo)

An adult monarch butterfly on a branch. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo)

Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. has plans to make some of its rights-of-way more hospitable to animals that pollinate plants.

About 200 acres of BGE’s electric rights-of-way in Maryland state parks now maintained by mowing will become meadow or prairie ecosystems, which are natural habitats for the pollinators, including bees and monarch butterflies.

BGE said it would instead manage the areas by using herbicide that it called environmentally safe to remove plants that could interfere with power lines.

The effort includes rights-of-way in these parks in Baltimore, Howard and Carroll counties: Morgan Run Natural Environment Area, Soldiers Delight Natural Environment Area, Patapsco Valley State Park, Gunpowder Falls State Park and along the Torrey C. Brown Trail.

Derrick Dickens, vice president of technical services for BGE, said in a statement that the change would encourage the return of native ecosystems while ensuring power lines would still be safely maintained.

Nita Settina, superintendent of the Maryland Park Service, said the initiative aligns with the Department of Natural Resources’ goal to reduce mowed areas on property managed by the state.

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