A natural prairie and butterfly habitat may soon grow on a former landfill.
The proposed project between the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Conservation and Fulton will repurpose a Fulton landfill that reached capacity.
About 10 acres of land will be replanted with native plants like milkweed for insects, bats and birds.
Greg Snellen, an environmental supervisor for the Department of Natural Resources, said planting will start next fall or early winter. The site needs to be sprayed with herbicide this fall before seeds are sown.
“There will be a pretty wide diversity of plant species that can be used obviously by a wide diversity of insects and other pollinator birds, and bats as well,” Snellen said. “That should create an area that will be alive with a lot of activity.”
Fulton Mayor LeRoy Benton said he hopes the site will be used by the community. He also wants to have a walking trail go through the site.
“Once it’s developed, you know, and maybe there’s a lot of butterflies out there, then hopefully it could be an attraction for schoolchildren and so forth and the two colleges, for their biology departments to be able to do some study of insects,” Benton said.
The state will pay for seed and labor to bring the project to life. Fulton is providing the land and will pay maintenance costs once the project is finished.
Snellen said this could be a pilot program for the state and if it is successful, more Missouri landfills could be turned into natural habitats.
Snellen said the agreement between the state and Fulton should be finalized by the end of the year.