Roadside Managers’ Award for Pollinator Habitat & Colorado Pollinator Highway

As Lady Bird Johnson’s campaign in Texas has shown, many locally native flowers thrive along roadsides. Photo: Phyllis Stiles

America’s roadsides offer millions of miles of opportunity for healthy, pesticide-free habitat, rich in native wildflowers in long, CONNECTED corridors. However, historically, for safety and aesthetic reasons, those roadsides have been heavily mowed and sprayed.

With growing awareness of how threatened and important pollinators are both to human food security and planetary resilience, many roadside managers are considering management changes that would address safety, and result in even more aesthetically pleasing roadsides while providing vital food and shelter for pollinators. In many cases, these new management practices could even save money!

The recent announcement of the nation’s first pollinator highway is a great example. Remarkably, both Colorado’s House and Senate passed the resolution unanimously to designate Highway 76 from the Nebraska state line to Arvada, Colorado, the “Colorado Pollinator Highway.”

Last year, the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign launched an award to bring attention to roadside managers who are committed to pollinator conservation. Nominations for the NAPPC Roadside Managers Award are due by June 26, 2017.  Anybody can nominate a government transportation agency including the agency itself. We hope to receive lots of nominations that will showcase the transition in roadside management occurring around the country and inspire other roadside managers to explore their own opportunities to be pollinator conservationists.

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