Georgia DOT Receives National Pollinator Roadside Management Award

Georgia Department of Transportation (Georgia DOT) won the 2016 North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC) Pollinator Roadside Management Award, after being nominated by The Ray.

The award recognizes transportation agencies who lead the field in pollinator-friendly roadside practices, which can play a significant role in boosting pollinator habitat nationwide, including habitat for the imperiled monarch butterfly.

The first place award was presented to Chris DeGrace, GDOT landscape architect, at the National Roadside Vegetation Management Association’s annual conference in Franklin, Tennessee by Pollinator Partnership Executive Director, Laurie Davies Adams. In the past 14 years, GDOT has planted approximately 2,700 acres of roadside wildflowers statewide utilizing proceeds from the sales of wildflower-themed vehicle license plates.

Every fall, GDOT produces and distributes thousands of wildflower seed packets containing a regional native mix of wildflower seed to educate, raise awareness and increase plantings statewide.  In 2016, the seed packets are being produced in partnership with The Ray. The packets feature a pollinator mix of regional native wildflower and pollinator plants.

The Ray, officially known as the Ray C. Anderson Memorial Highway, is an 18-mile corridor on Interstate 85 that connects exits 1 and 18 – from West Point, Ga., to LaGrange, Ga.

Named for West Point native Ray Anderson, the founder of LaGrange‐based Interface, Inc., and a champion for business and sustainability, The Ray is dedicated to becoming a proving ground for evolving ideas and technologies that will transform the transportation infrastructure of the future, inspiring the use of materials, innovations and construction techniques that have the potential to reduce fatalities, improve energy efficiency and prepare our logistics corridors to be highways of the future.

Georgia DOT has worked with The Ray since 2015, and plans are underway to install a 5,000 sq. ft. pollinator garden at the state-owned and managed Visitor Information Center (VIC) on Interstate 85 at Exit 1- West Point. 

In June 2016, the GDOT State Transportation Board passed a resolution endorsing The Ray, to “re-imagine our highway system into one that is safer and more sustainable.”

The pollinator garden at the West Point VIC will be the first in the state. The partnership service project will result in the planting and mulching of 2,400 native pollinator plants, propagated by the Chattahoochee Nature Center and donated by the Georgia Conservancy.  More than 200 employees of Kia Motors Manufacturing of Georgia plan to participate in the planting project in mid-September.

This impactful day of service demonstrates the power of “P4” public, private and philanthropic partnerships to benefit pollinators.

About the Georgia Department of Transportation:

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