Roadsides

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.

roadside native plants for pollinators

3 things you can do to enhance pollinator populations on roadsides!

noun project flower

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.

Lawn Mower designed by Sergi Delgado from The Noun Project

Reduce mowing

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.

noun project spray bottle

Use herbicides sparingly

Blanket herbicide applications can eliminate beneficial wildflowers that pollinators depend upon. Spot-treat noxious weeds and carefully time herbicide applications.

Resources


Pollinators and Roadsides publication cover

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.


Project Milkweed

Project Milkweed

Learn more about how milkweeds are essential plants for pollinators and great for roadside planting. Read more …


Thomas Landis cover

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.


MN DNR Roadsides for Wildlife

Roadsides for Wildlife

Learn more about how roadside restoration and management can benefit wildlife: Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources’ website.


IRVM cover

Integrated Roadside Management

This publication provides basic technical support for new and existing Iowa county roadside programs and provides guidanto policymakers and engineers interested in adopting or expanding integrated vegetation management in county right-of-waFrom Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management. Click here to download the PDF.


What's the Buzz? brochure cover

What’s the Buzz about Pollinators and Roadsides? Brochure

Click here to download the PDF.


ANP bookcover

Attracting Native Pollinators

Xerces most recent book, Attracting Native Pollinators: Protecting North America‚Äôs Bees and Butterflies, is available to purchase from our website. Read more …

Donate

to protect invertebrates!

Newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter to receive up to date information about our programs and events.

Search this Site
Facebook
Like us on Facebook

Twitter
Follow us on Twitter
Contact Us

Email us with your questions and comments about pollinator conservation.

Learn About Your Landscape:
Take Action!
Sign the Pledge!

Sign the pledge and take action to help protect pollinators and their essential habitats! Learn more.

Pollinator Conservation Resource Center


The Resource Center is where you can find regional information about plant lists, habitat conservation guides, and more. Learn more.

Pollinator Conservation Seed Mixes


Our partners in the native seed industry are offering specially designed, Xerces-approved wildflower seed mixes. Learn more.

Plant Milkweed Seed!


Milkweeds support monarch butterflies, native bees, honey bees, and other beneficial insects. Search for sources of milkweed seed now!

The Xerces Society • 628 NE Broadway Ste 200, Portland OR 97232 USA • tel 855.232.6639 • fax 503.233.6794 • info@xerces.org
site mapcontactgivecontact the webmaster