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Bee on Garlic Chive blossoms

Two TVA Scientists Recognized for Pollinator Documentary

Hoyle and Fisher win pollinator award

Holly Hoyle (left) and Suzanne Fisher (right) with their EPRI award for the film, Power for Pollinators.

Suzanne Fisher and Holly Hoyle were recently honored with the 2021 Technology Transfer Award for the documentary film, Power for Pollinators. The award was presented by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) .

Fisher and Hoyle were selected for their collaboration in the creation of the documentary, which showcases the commitment and effort of North American electric power companies to conserve pollinator species and habitats. Fisher, a senior program manager, and Hoyle, a senior specialist, along with several Power in Pollinators colleagues, were chosen by the EPRI Power Delivery & Utilization Sector staff.

butterfly on clover

“This film showcases the commitment and effort of North American electric power companies to conserve pollinator species and habitats using right-of-way corridors and buffer zones which are uniquely positioned to create large pollinator highways,” said Fisher.

Fisher views the documentary’s numerous awards as a catalyst. “These awards will ensure increased visibility, helping demonstrate to a larger viewing audience that power producers could be a large part of the solution to pollinator habitat loss,” she added. “It is a topic whose time has come.”

Hoyle agrees, noting that the film “beautifully relates pollinator conservation with overall biodiversity goals, which is relevant and timely to TVA.” In 2021, the TVA Board of Directors approved a TVA-level Biodiversity Policy. “We are actively working to develop a framework to implement the Policy across TVA,” she said.

In addition to electric companies and solar developers, EPRI engages federal agencies, universities, and research organizations to ensure the work of the group is relevant, robust, and impactful.

Recently Fisher and Hoyle have been collecting fun video footage of TVA-supported efforts that assist pollinators, called “Dispatch from the Field.”

“TVA has ongoing pollinator research at a number of sites,” says Hoyle. “Many are listed below, but we support other locations throughout the Valley, too.” Some of the sites include:

  • Big South Fork - a research plot on and off TVA right-of-way (ROW) comparing diversity and abundance of pollinators and pollinator host plants;
  • South Holston Dam - a pilot site managed with prescribed fire in partnership with Bristol Tennessee Essential Services;
  • Cherokee National Forest - sites on TVA ROW where Frosted Elfin (Callophrys irus), a rare butterfly, and its specific host plant, Wild Indigo (Baptisia australis), have been observed.
  • Watts Bar Dam - areas at under joint effort with Genera, partner focused on using locally-grown native switchgrass to develop biodegradable products;
  • Douglas Dam Reservation - sites under TVA ROW at the Visitor Overlook and Trotter Bluff Small Wild Area.

What Can I Do to Help?

We can all play a role in pollinator conservation. Plant flowers that attract bees, butterflies, and moths, reduce use of chemicals on your property, replace part of your lawn with native plants, and buy food products that are habitat friendly. These actions also protect our water, climate and health.

Invite your friends to the Pollinator Power Party to learn more about these special insects. The goal this year is to reach 2.5 million people.

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Watch the Film & Attend a Party

To view the acclaimed documentary, Power for Pollinators, visit EPRI’s website.

While there, you can also register for a free Pollinator Power Party to increase your understanding and appreciation of pollinators.