With more than 10 million acres of land in roadsides in the United States alone, transportation rights-of-way are a significant, yet often overlooked, resource for pollinator conservation. In landscapes denuded of natural areas by large scale agriculture or urbanization, roadsides are an increasingly important component of regional habitat networks. They frequently support native vegetation, providing refuge for wildlife and connecting fragmented habitat. The wildlife living on roadsides touches communities in every state, province, and county of North America.
3 things you can do to enhance pollinator populations on roadsides!
Include native grasses and wildflowers
Roadsides planted with native grasses and wildflowers support more butterflies and bees than roadsides dominated by non-native plants. In addition to providing roadside pollinator habitat, native plants can contribute significantly to soil stabilization, runoff reduction, and can contribute to reduced maintenance costs.
Mowing of roadside vegetation beyond the shoulder during the growing season should be reduced, so wildflowers can be allowed to bloom. Consider mowing once a year in the dormant season or mowing once every few years to reduce impact of mowing on pollinators and other wildlife such as songbirds.
Pollinators and Roadsides: Managing Roadsides for Bees and Butterflies
A concise overview of the conservation potential of roadside habitat and practical information on how to maximize the value of these areas for pollinators while meeting basic traffic safety requirements. Click here to download PDF.
Learn more about how milkweeds are essential plants for pollinators and great for roadside planting. Read more …
A Manager’s Guide to Roadside Revegetation
This guide, by Thomas Landis, focuses on revegetating roadsides with native plants. Click here to download the PDF.
Roadsides for Wildlife
Learn more about how roadside restoration and management can benefit wildlife: Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources’ website.
Integrated Roadside Management
The objective of this publication is to provide basic technical support for new and existing Iowa county roadside programs. The manual is also intended to provide guidance to policymakers and engineers interested in adopting or expanding integrated vegetation management in county right-of-way. From Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management. Click here to download the PDF.
What’s the Buzz about Pollinators and Roadsides? Brochure
Attracting Native Pollinators
Xerces most recent book, Attracting Native Pollinators: Protecting North America’s Bees and Butterflies, is available to purchase from our website. Read more …