2022 NAPPC Pollinator Roadside Management Award Winner

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT)

The Ohio Department of Transportation, (ODOT) planted wildflower sites across the state purely for aesthetics in the 1990s. The Department realized the practice was not sustainable in its current form and discontinued the practice. In 2011, ODOT was approached by the Ohio Department of Natural Resource’s Division of Wildlife and Pheasants Forever to install a sustainable prairie on the western edge of the state in Darke County. The planting was successful and with a subsequent test site focusing on plants that benefit pollinators and wildlife began ODOT’s pollinator habitat effort. With minor adjustments to its seed mixture, the Department determined a prairie could be created that would meet the needs of both initiatives, which greatly increased the number of public-private partners. In 2016, ODOT created a fully funded standalone Highway Beautification and Pollinator Habitat Program to capture the numerous opportunities available to enhance and establish pollinator habitat along the state’s 19,000 miles of roadside. The coordinator works with local, state and federal agencies, non- profit organizations and other partner organizations to plan and implement new roadside pollinator habitats.