Environmental Review Toolkit
Accelerating Project Delivery

Eco-Logical Community of Practice Webinar: Pollinator Habitat Programs

July 13, 2016

PDF Version [9.8 MB]


Table of Contents

Eco-Logical and SHRP2 Introduction

Federal Highway Administration Resources for Roadside Pollinator Habitat

Minnesota Department of Transportation Pollinator Program

TxDOT Monarch Activities

Virginia DOT Vegetation Management Pollinator Habitat Program

Contact Information


Eco-Logical and SHRP2 Introduction

Slide 1: Eco-Logical Community of Practice: Pollinator Habitat Programs

July 13, 2016

(Learn more about Eco-Logical at the FHWA website))

Kate Kurgan, American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials
Daniel Buford, Federal Highway Administration
Deirdre Remley, Federal Highway Administration
Tina Markeson, Minnesota Department of Transportation
Dennis Markwardt, Texas Department of Transportation
Brian Waymack & Diane Beyer, Virginia Department of Transportation
Michael Gale, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Image: Collage of colored photographs of a bridge, a deer, a fish, and a curved rural road from the cover of the Eco-Logical: An Ecosystem Approach to Developing Infrastructure Projects report

Image: Logos of the following: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (ASSHTO), SHRP2 (second Strategic Highway Research Program), and U.S. DOT Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

Image: Close-up photo of a Monarch butterfly on a wildflower

Slide 2: SHRP2 & Its Focus Areas (Second Strategic Highway Research Program)

  • Safety: Fostering safer driving through analysis of driver, roadway and vehicle factors in crashes, near crashes, and ordinary driving.
  • Renewal: Rapid maintenance and repair of the deteriorating infrastructure using already-available resources, innovations, and technologies.
  • Capacity: Planning and designing a highway system that offers minimum disruption and meets the environmental, and economic needs of the community.
  • Reliability: Reducing congestion and creating more predictable travel times through better operations.

Images: icons that match each of the concepts listed above: Safety (a person wearing a seat belt/shoulder belt); Renewal (a circular arrow that reconnects to itself); Capacity (a bridge support structure); and Reliability (a clock)

Slide 3: Implementing Eco-Logical Steps

  1. Build collaborative partnerships & vision
  2. Characterize resource status
  3. Create REF
  4. Assess effects on conservation
  5. Identify & Prioritize actions
  6. Develop crediting strategy
  7. Develop agreements
  8. Implement agreements
  9. Update REF over time

Image: Graphic showing the nine steps of the Eco-Logical Process

Slide 4: Eco-Logical Community of Practice

Purpose: To continue the exchange of information after SHRP2 activities have concluded.

Goals: To create a self-sustaining network of practitioners to share knowledge, best practices, ideas, and facilitate technical assistance amongst members.

Slide 5: Eco-Logical Contact Information

David Williams, FHWA
David.Williams@dot.gov
202-366-4074

Mike Ruth, FHWA
Mike.Ruth@dot.gov
202-366-9509

Kate Kurgan, AASHTO
KKurgan@aashto.org
202-624-3635

Dan Buford, FHWA
Daniel.Buford@dot.gov
202-366-8168

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Federal Highway Administration Resources for Roadside Pollinator Habitat

The slides in this presentation are branded with the U.S. DOT FHWA logo.

Slide 6: Federal Highway Administration Resources for Roadside Pollinator Habitat

Deirdre Remley, Environmental Protection Specialist
Office of Project Development and Environmental Review
Federal Highway Administration
July 2016

Slide 7: Pollinator Laws

  • Section 1415 of Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, December 2015
    Administrative Provisions to Encourage Pollinator Habitat and Forage on Transportation Rights-of-Way
    Directs FHWA to:
    • Encourage integrated vegetation management practices on…transportation rights-of-way, including reduced mowing
    • Encourage the development of habitat and forage for Monarch butterflies, other native pollinators, and honey bees through plantings of native forbs and grasses that can…facilitate migrations of [butterflies and] other pollinators.
  • Presidential Memorandum, “Creating a Federal Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators,” June 2014
    Directs USDOT/FHWA to:
    • Evaluate current guidance and informational resources
    • Identify opportunities to increase pollinator habitat along roadways
    • Implement program improvements, as appropriate
    • Work with State DOTs and transportation associations to promote pollinator-friendly practices and corridors
  • Endangered Species Act of 1973

Slide 8: Improving Roadside Pollinator Habitat:Ways to Make it Work

Some Challenges Some Ways to Overlook Challenges
Competing priorities for funding
  • Cost savings through reduced mowing
  • Lower long-term maintenance costs with native vegetation that is adapted to the area
  • License plate sales
  • Corporate philanthropy
  • Grants from non-profits
  • Partnering with universities and non-profits
Lack of in-house expertise among all staff Partner with universities and non-profits with expertise
Public perception - Culture change from the idea that roadsides should look manicured Public education through:
  • Signs
  • Rest stop displays
  • Partnerships and outreach
Nativeseed cost and availability
  • Coordinate with local native seed banks - let them know your seed needs - Supply/demand model
  • Coordinate with land managers with similar needs

Slide 9: FHWA Federal Funding forVegetation Management

FHWA Funding Eligibilities

Slide 10: Some Ways to Fund Pollinator Activities

Funding Sources

  • License Plate Sales
  • Native Plant Societies
  • Zoos
  • Corporate philanthropy
  • Non-profit organizations - grants, specialized expertise, etc.
  • University programs/cooperative extensions

Slide 11: FHWA Resources: “Pollinators” Web Page

http://www.environment.fhwa.dot.gov/ecosystems/vegmgmt_pollinators.asp

Image: Screenshot of the Pollinators webpage on FHWA's Environmental Review Toolkit website
Image: Screenshot of the list of Resources for Pollinator-Friendly Practices from the Pollinator's webpage

Slide 12: State DOT Pollinator-Friendly Information

https://www.environment.fhwa.dot.gov/ecosystems/vegmgmt_pollinators.asp

Image: Screenshot of the list of State DOT Pollinator-Friendly Practices and Information from the Pollinator's webpage

Slide 13: For More Information

Deirdre Remley
Federal Highway Administration
deirdre.remley@dot.gov
202-366-0524
http://www.environment.fhwa.dot.gov/ecosystems/vegmgmt_pollinators.asp

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Minnesota Department of Transportation Pollinator Program

The slides in this presentation are branded with eight icons that represent various forms of transportation: a truck, a ship, a train, an airplane, a car, a bicycle, a bus, and walking.

Slide 14: (No title)

Tina Markeson
Office of Environmental Stewardship
MN Department of Transportation

We all have a stake in A to B

Image: Logo of the Minnesota Department of Transportation
Image: Photo of a large field of wildflowers adjacent to a rural highway

Slide 15: (No title)

Image: Minnesota Department of Transportation Staff - 4 people seated at a table, 4 people standing behind them

Slide 16: (No title)

Image: Close-up photo of tall reeds of grass against a setting sun

Slide 17: Engineering Needs/Native Plant Characteristics

Engineering Needs Native Plant Characteristics
Soil Stabilization Deep roots and diverse root zone to better hold soil
Water Infiltration Interception and infiltration of more water that low diversity single species turf grass
Minimum Long-term Maintenance
  • Legume provide nitrogen fixation to improve soil fertility
  • Diverse, established prairie better resist invasion of undesirable plants
Blowing Snow Control Tall grass prairie mixes, trees, and shrubs can capture snow prior to blowing onto road
View enhancement/protection Native trees and shrubs can disperse headlight glare, provide screening from unwanted views

Slide 18: For More Information

Tina Markeson
MnDOT Roadside Vegetation Management Unit Supervisor
tina.markeson@state.mn.us
651-366-3619

Image: Photo of a technician performing a controlled burn on the edge of a highway

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TxDOT Monarch Activities

Slide 19: TxDOT Monarch Activities

Images: A collage of photos: closeup of a bee on a wildflower; a small-engine airplane in flight; a road maintenance crew on a bridge; a Dynamic Message Sign (DMS) that is displaying the words “Be Safe. Drive Smart.”; wildflowers in front of a visitor center; six men heading a meeting; and a traffic-clogged three-lane highway

Slide 20: Habitat Conservation | TxDOT Wildflower Program

Image: A collage of photos: a car on a rural highway with a butte in the background; a large structure with a mural of farming elements painted on it; wildflowers growing along the side of a highway; and wildflowers growing in front of a wooden fence

Slide 21: (No title)

  • TxDOT Maintenance Division
    • Safe and efficient travel
    • 1,100,000 acres roadway/ROW
    • 800,000 acres vegetation
  • TxDOT Wildflower Program
    • Began in 1930s
    • Reduce cost, aesthetically pleasing, blends with local surroundings
    • “Don’t mow until the wildflowers have gone to seed” - properly timed mowing twice a year after spring and fall blooms.
    • Preservation leads to propagation

Image: Photo of a large field of colorful red, purple, and yellow wildflowers adjacent to a highway

Slide 22: Mowing

  • Mowing is critical
  • Wait until wildflowers set seed
  • This reduces the cool season component to allow warm season grass establishment
  • This also helps spread wildflower seed for the following year
  • 7 inch minimum height allows perennial to flourish with the reduction of shade component
  • 7 inch minimum will not harm some of the later blooming pollinator plants
  • Non-mow areas are established for fall pollinator habitat and reduction of maintenance costs

Slide 23: (No title)

  • Challenges
    • Conflicting public expectations
      • wildflowers = weeds
      • milkweed = toxic to livestock
    • TxDOT continues to respond to agricultural concerns
    • Varies across state
  • National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)
    • Storm water runoff/soil erosion prevention.
    • 70% perennial vegetative cover
    • Need to combine efforts - grass and pollinatormix

Image: Photo of newly planted rows of greenery along Route 308 in Texas

Slide 24: Cooperative efforts with Resource Agencies:

  • Texas Monarch and Native Pollinator Conservation Plan
  • Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust
  • Texas Parks and Wildlife
  • Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
  • Lower Colorado River Authority
  • National Wildlife Federation
  • Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
  • Texas Department of Transportation
  • USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • University of Texas at San Antonio

Slide 25: Education and Outreach: Monarch Waystations at TxDOT Safety Rest Areas

Image: A collage of photos: various wildflowers and shrubs near a visitor center; red wildflowers in front of a visitor center; closeup of a bee on a wildflower; and closeup of a Monarch butterfly on a flower

Slide 26: (No title)

Safety Rest Areas

  • 12 Travel Information Centers
  • 80 Safety Rest Areas
  • 21 major highways

Image: Map of Texas marked with the locations of Travel Information Centers, closed rest areas, existing rest areas, and new/renovated/reconstructed rest areas. There are labels to show the locations of Hill County Rest Stop, Mile Marker 362A; Bell County Rest Stop, Mile Marker 281; Medina County Rest Stop, Mile Marker 130; and La Salle County Rest Stop, Mile Marker 59.

Image: Aerial photo of a reconstructed safety rest area

Slide 27: Monarch Waystations

  • Cooperative agreement between USFWS and Native Plant Society of Texas
  • Will include native nectar- and host-plants and interpretive signage
  • 4 underway
    • Hill County Safety Rest Area (paired) on IH 35 near Hillsboro
    • Bell County Safety Rest Area (paired) on IH 35 near Salado
    • Others in future
    • Developing promos to be broadcast at the rest areas
    • Developing pamphlets to be distributed at the rest areas

Image: A collage of three photos showing renovated safety rest areas

Slide 28: Education

  • Train TxDOT licensed Herbicide Applicators (1300 licensed employees) during Pesticide Recertification Courses
    • Vegetation & Wildflower Identification
    • Proper Herbicide Timing and Applications
    • Mandatory, Annual Trainings
  • Train Directors of Maintenance (DOM)
    • Importance of Pollinator Plants, their Placement, Propagation and Maintenance
    • Seed Mix Recommendations
    • Biennial Meetings
  • Information Pamphlet Development & Wildflower Guides

Slide 29: Research and Monitoring

Image: Close-up photo of a budding wildflower

Slide 30: (No title)

  • Milkweed Propagation Project - 2015
    • Mid-Coast Chapter Master Naturalists
    • 1,094 plants of Green antelope horn milkweed (Asclepias viridis) on US 77 in Victoria County.
    • Appropriate for collection and research.
  • South Texas Natives and Texas Native Seeds Projects - 2001-present
    • Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute at TAMU-Kingsville, Texas AgriLife, Tarleton State University, Sul Ross State University
    • 30 varieties to add to TxDOT seed mixes.
    • 15 of 25 districts amended
    • Project to bring locally grown seed to the commercial market.

Slide 31: Seed Mix Recommendations

  • Developing Regional Pollinator Seed Mixes
  • Current Mix Includes:
    • Lance Leaf Coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata)
      • ½ lb/A
    • Purple Coneflower (Echinacea pupurea)
      • ½ lb/A
    • Blanket Flower (Gaillardia aristata)
      • ½ lb/A
    • Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepiastuberosa)
      • ¼ lb/A
    • Showy Evening Primrose (Oenotheraspeciosa)
      • ¼ lb/A
    • Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckiahirta)
      • ½ lb/A

Image: Photos of each of the wildflowers listed above. (Photos obtained from Missouri Botanical Gardens)

Slide 32: (No title)

Dennis Markwardt
(512)416-3093
Dennis.markwardt@txdot.gov

Image: Photo of a field of blue, pink, and white wildflowers adjacent to a highway

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Virginia DOT Vegetation Management Pollinator Habitat Program

The slides in this presentation are branded with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) logo.

Slide 33: Vegetation Management Pollinator Habitat Program

Image: Collage of photos: a hummingbird extracting nectar from a red wildflower, a bee extracting nectar from a yellow wildflower, and a Monarch butterfly extracting nectar from a pink wildflower

Slide 34: Managing for Pollinators is Consistent with Transportation Priorities

  • Safety
    • Wildflower perennials & grasses are not favored by deer
    • Mowing only the shoulder allows line of sight, space for motorists to pull-off, prevents encroachment of shrubs/trees
  • Protection of roadway/roadside assets
    • Native vegetation stabilizes slopes & reduces erosion; increases stormwater/nutrients retention due to deep roots; fit for our climate/less maintenance
    • Native plants can be the best defense against invasives & provide a smooth transition to adjacent properties
  • Efficient management of woody vegetation
    • Reduced mowing saves money
    • Maintenance of problem vegetation reduced
  • Collateral benefit:
    • Excellent PR in helping bring back pollinator species & Monarchs, one of America’s iconic species
    • Reduction in use of herbicides

Slide 35: How does this Project fit into VDOT?

  • VDOT Vegetation Management Program has initiated a renewed effort to develop & implement an Integrated vegetation management strategy that applies statewide.
    • Basis of IVMP include:
      • Mechanical
      • Chemical
      • Biological
      • Cultural
  • The Pollinator Habitat Program is a part of VDOT’s IVM Program.

Image: Photo of a variety of wildflowers along a highway

Slide 36: What is IRVM?

Integrated roadside vegetation management is an approach to right-of-way maintenance that combines a variety of management techniques with sound ecological principles to establish and maintain safe, healthy, functional roadsides.

IRVM can include judicious use of herbicides, spot mowing, habitat management & development, prescribed burning, mechanical tree and brush removal and the prevention and treatment of erosion and other disturbances to the right-of-way.

Image: Photo of a single-lane road winding through the woods

Slide 37: Benefits of an Effective IRVM Program

  • Safety
  • Economic
  • Flexibility
  • Environmental
  • Appearance
  • Positive Public Relations/Education

Image: Photo of vivid magenta, yellow, purple, and orange wildflowers on both sides of a rural highway

Slide 38: Importance of Native Roadside Vegetation

  • Improves water quality
  • Increases soil retention
  • Improves aesthetics
  • Encourages tourism/economy
  • Offers habitat
  • Saves maintenance $$
    (less mowing, pesticide/herbicide use, sustainable)
  • Reduces driver fatique/hypnotics
  • Discourages invasive take over

Image: Close-up photo of red and yellow wildflowers in a field on the side of a rural highway

Slide 39: Support From the TOP

For Immediate Release
June 20, 2014

Presidential Memorandum – Creating a Federal Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators
“…Pollinator losses have been severe. The number of migrating Monarch butterflies sank to the lowest recorded population level in 2013-14, and there is an imminent risk of failed migration. The continued loss of commercial honey bee colonies poses a threat to the economic stability of commercial beekeeping and pollination operations in the United States, which could have profound implications for agriculture and food. Severe yearly declines create concern that bee colony losses could reach a point from which the commercial pollination industry would not be able to adequately recover. The loss of native bees, which also play a key role in pollination of crops, is much less studied, but many native bee species are believed to be in decline. Scientists believe that bee losses are likely caused by a combination of stressors, including poor bee nutrition, loss of forage lands, parasites, pathogens, lack of genetic diversity, and exposure to pesticides&hellip”

Image: A graphic of the June 17-23, 2013 Pollinator Week logo
Image: A reproduction of the Seal of the President of the United States

Slide 40: What IS a Pollinator?

A pollinator is an animal that causes plants to make fruit or seeds. They do this by moving pollen from one part of the flower of a plant to another part, or from one plant to another, to fertilize the plant. Only fertilized plants can make fruit and/or seeds. Without fruit and/or seed plants cannot reproduce.

Images: Three photos: two butterflies on a red wildflower; a bee covered in yellow pollen; and a hummingbird extracting nectar from a pink flower

Slide 41: Why do we care?

  • Pollinators contribute substantially to the economy of the United States and are vital to keeping fruits, nuts, and vegetables in our diets. Over the past few decades, there has been a significant loss of pollinators—including honey bees, native bees, birds, bats, and butterflies—from the environment. The problem is serious and poses a significant challenge that needs to be addressed to ensure the sustainability of our food production systems, avoid additional economic impacts on the agricultural sector, and protect the health of the environment.
  • Pollinators contribute more than 24 billion dollars to the United States economy, of which honey bees account for more than 15 billion dollars through their vital role in keeping fruits, nuts, and vegetables in our diets.
  • Native wild pollinators, such as bumble bees and alfalfa leafcutter bees, also contribute substantially to the domestic economy. In 2009, the crop benefits from native insect pollination in the United States were valued at more than 9 billion dollars.
  • The Monarch butterfly migration, an iconic natural phenomenon that has an estimated economic value in the billions of dollars, sank to the lowest recorded levels this winter, with an imminent risk of failure.

Image: Photo of a Monarch butterfly on a cluster of pink flowers

Slide 42: PHP Funding

Support the Program With a License Plate Purchase.

  • The Pollinator Habitat program is currently funded through the purchase of the Wildflower license plate.
  • Through newly passed legislation, the purchase of the new pollinator license plate will now (after July 1, 2016) yield money specifically for VDOT’s PHP.

Thank you!

Image: Reproduction of Virginia’s sample Wildflowers license plate
Image: Reproduction of Virginia’s sample Protect Pollinators license plate

Slide 43: Legislative language

Wildflower Plate
§46.2-749.29. Special license plates; supporters of Operation Wildflower; fees.

  • On receipt of an application and payment of the fee prescribed by this section, the Commissioner shall issue special license plates to supporters of Operation Wildflower.
  • The annual fee for plates issued pursuant to this section shall be twenty-five dollars in addition to the prescribed fee for state license plates. For each such twenty-five-dollar fee collected in excess of 1,000 registrations pursuant to this section, fifteen dollars shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to a special non-reverting fund known as the Operation Wildflower Fund, established within the Department of Accounts. These funds shall be paid annually to the Virginia Department of Transportation and used to support its Operation Wildflower program. 1999, c. 883.

Protect Pollinators Plate
Senate Bill No. 434; Offered January 13, 2016; Prefiled January 12, 2016
A Bill to amend and reenact Chapter 690 of the Acts of Assembly of 2014, relating to special license plates for supporters of pollinator conservation bearing the legend: PROTECT POLLINATORS.
Patrons—Barker and Deeds; Referred to Committee on Transportation
§1. Special license plates for supporters of pollinator conservation bearing the legend: PROTECT POLLINATORS.

  • On receipt of an application and payment of the fee prescribed by this section and following the provisions of §46.2-275 of the Code of Virginia, the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles shall issue to the applicant special license plates for supporters of pollinator conservation bearing the legend: PROTECT POLLINATORS.
  • The annual fee for plates issued pursuant to this section shall be $25 in addition to the prescribed fee for state license plates. For each such $25 fee collected in excess of 1,000 registrations pursuant to this section, $15 shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to a special non-reverting fund known as the Pollinator Habitat Program Fund established within the Department of Accounts. These funds shall be paid annually to the Virginia Department of Transportation and used to support its Pollinator Habitat Program in Virginia. All other fees imposed under the provisions of this section shall be paid to, and received by, the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles and paid by him into the state treasury and set aside as a special fund to be used to meet the necessary expenses incurred by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Slide 44: Sites We Chose & Why

  • Park & Rides/Safety Rest Areas
    • Safety
    • Education
    • Promotes tourism through improved aesthetics
    • Easily Maintained by volunteers
  • Undeveloped Rest Areas
    • Reduced maintenance needs
    • Sustainable
  • Overlooks/VDOT Memorial
    • PR Opportunities
    • Shows respect for fallen comrades

Image: Photo of a “Commuter Park & Ride” sign
Image: Photo of a renovated safety rest area

Slide 45: 2014 Pilot Program Timeline

  • July 2014 - Central Office Vegetation Management staff (COVMS) meets with citizen group (CG) regarding mowing practices pertaining to milkweed plants and Monarch butterflies
  • August 2014 - COVMS & CG begin searching for funding for alternative, safe pollinator plantings
  • September 2014 - CG receives grant from Dominion Trust/VA Dominion Power indicates interest in providing volunteers for project
  • October 29 2014 - Four pilot pollinator plots are planted

Images: Photos of a Monarch butterfly and a bumblebee

Slide 46: Partners & their Parts

  • VDOT Central Office Vegetation Management
    • Overall project management
    • Locate sites/Mark/Spray
    • Initiate permit process
    • Coordinate with NoVA AHQs/Residencies/P&R/SRA staff
    • Technical support
    • Public Relations/Communication
  • Dominion Virginia Power
    • Volunteers (community service hours)
    • Equipment
  • Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy
    • Grant administration
    • Order plants/Mulch/Topsoil
    • Technical Expertise

Images: Photos of a Monarch butterfly, a bumblebee, and a hummingbird

Slide 47: Initial Native Species Planted

  • Common milkweed (asclepias syriaca)
  • Swamp milkweed (asclepias incarnata)
  • New England Aster (Aster nova-angliae)
  • Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
  • Joe Pye (Eupatorium maculatum)
  • Bee balm/Oswego Tea (Monarda didyma)
  • Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)
  • Wrinkle-leaved Goldenrod (Solidago rugosa)
  • Blue-stem Goldenrod (Solidago caesia)
  • New York Ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis)
  • Stiff Goldenrod (Solidago rigida)
  • Hoary Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum incanum)
  • Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’)

The plants will attract a multitude of pollinators including native and honey bees, monarchs and other butterfly species, hummingbirds and beetles. Additional natives have been added. The most recent plantings contain about 23 different species plus several native shrubs beneficial to pollinators.

Images: Photos of seven different wildflowers

Slide 48: 2014 It All Comes Together!

Images: A collage of photos: a truck dumping a load of soil; workers digging a flower bed; workers preparing a soil bed for planting; workers planting in the flower bed; and two workers standing by a sign in front of the completed flower bed

Slide 49: 2015 Program Timeline

  • December 2014 & before - Initial site for 2015 determined. Partners contacted. VA Dominion Power indicates interest in providing volunteers and small amount of funding for project. Needs assessment.
  • July 2015 - Monies from wildflower license plates centralized ($180K) Begin development of 5 year plan for SRA installations/education.
  • August 2015 - Gather information for web site. Kiosks commandeered for education displays. Line up vendors, partners, procure contractor to prep 15,000 sq. ft. site.
  • Early September 2015 - Site prep conducted. Diseased trees & stumps removed, area de-turfed, tilled & mulched in preparation. Plants start arriving (23 species, including milkweeds).
  • September 29, 2015 - First large scale pollinator habitat site planted. PBS films it, White House interested. Over 50 volunteers.

Images: Photos of a Monarch butterfly and a bumblebee

Slide 50: Large Scale 2015

Images: A collage of photos: a man trimming trees from a cherry picker; a man digging a trench with a backhoe; a man in a tractor preparing the soil; a man inspecting the soil; and boxes of plants to be planted

Slide 51: (No title)

  • 2015 Meadow Planting
  • Planted Fall 2014
  • Our Team

Images: A collage of photos: a pair of workers instructing a team of workers; workers planting in the prepared flower bed; wildflowers; and butterflies on wildflowers

Slide 52: (No title)

  • Other 2015 Activity.
    • Statewide revision of mowing practices to encourage native populations along roadways.
      • From BMP Manual: Pollinator Habitat Program - Every effort should be made to preserve native pollinator plant species including but not limited to milkweed. Many of these plants are located within “Additional Mow Areas” and it is recommended that mowing of these areas occur in March and/or after October 31st. If there are large areas of pollinator species within the parameters of “Mow Areas” and there is no safety issue, delineate the areas and mow in March and/or after October 31st. Please contact the State Roadside Manager or District Roadside Manager for guidance regarding the pollinator habitat program.
    • Pilot seeding projects in Bristol District to determine what native seeds perform best/best planting methods.
  • Going Forward.
    • Education signs installed summer/fall 2016 to explain program/differences in maintenance practices.
    • Gardens & Interpretive signage in most State Rest Areas.
      • Goal is 5-7 sites per year.
      • 5 sites contracted for 2016/2017.
    • Native seed mixes used on roadsides and in select medians statewide.
    • Statewide education campaign/website/signage.
  • Partnerships created.
    • Virginia Dominion Power/Dominion Trust
    • Valley Land
    • Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy
    • Virginia Tourism Corporation
    • MonarchWATCH
    • PBS Films
    • White House Office of Science & Technology
    • Virginia Native Plant Society

Slide 53: Pollinator Habitat Program Recognition

  • The White House Office of Science & Technology invited VDOT to speak at a nationwide DOT forum in November 2015.
  • AASHTO is featuring the VDOT PHP as a Case Study on the AASHTO Center for Environmental Excellence webpage.
    http://www.environment.transportation.org/environmental_topics/invasive_species/case_studies.aspx#bookmarksubVDOTProgramAidsPollinatorsWhileSupportingTransportationGoals
  • The program was blogged about on the National Geographic “The Plate” blog with the title “Are Highway Rest Stops Pollinators’ Last Hope?”
  • PBS Films was present at the September meadow planting & will be including information in a film to be released in 2017.
  • The PHP received a Virginia Green Travel Star Innovation Award for its commitment to green tourism practices.
  • VDOT TV has produced at least 2 videos regarding the Pollinator Habitat Program.

Image: Photo of VDOT Staff receiving an award for their Pollinator work.

Slide 54: New Webpage

A webpage for the program has been added to the VDOT website.
http://www.virginiadot.org/programs/pollinator_habitat_program.asp

Image: Screenshot of VDOT’s Pollinator Habitat Program webpage

Slide 55: Other IVMP Initiatives

  • Review Mowing Practices
  • Use of Native Seed mixes vs. high maintenance turf varieties in construction and other projects
  • Landscape plans conducive to site
    • Right tree/right place
    • Proper care & maintenance to minimize safety concerns & removal & replacement costs
  • Education in respect to mowing practices & IVMP practices
    • /public/legislative/operators/management

Image: Icon-like graphic of three workers wearing yellow hardhats

Slide 56: How to Contact Us

  • VDOT Vegetation Management Program
    Brian Waymack, State DOT Vegetation Manager
    (804) 840-2460
    Brian.Waymack@vdot.virginia.gov
  • Diane Beyer, State Vegetation Management Planner
    (804) 432-6197< br/> Diane.Beyer@vdot.virginia.gov
  • 1401 Broad Street
    Richmond, VA 23219

Image: Cartoon graphic of an exhausted bee

Slide 57: Questions?

Please remember to type in your questions to the chat prompt.

Thank you for participating!

Image: Close-up photo of a Monarch butterfly

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Contact Information

Slide 58: Contact Information

  • Kate Kurgan, AASHTO
    kkurgan@aashto.org
    202-624-3635
  • Dan Buford, FHWA
    daniel.Buford@dot.gov
    202-366-8168
  • Deirdre Remley, FHWA
    Deirdre.remley@dot.gov
    202-366-0524
  • Michael Gale, USFWS
    michael_gale@fws.gov
    703-358-1840
  • Tina Markeson, MnDOT
    tina.markeson@state.mn.us
    651-366-3619
  • Dennis Markwardt
    Dennis.markwardt@txdot.gov
    512-416-3093
  • Brian Waymack, VDOT
    Brian.Waymack@vdot.virginia.gov
    804-840-2460
  • Diane Beyer, VDOT
    Diane.Beyer@vdot.virginia.gov
    804-432-6197

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HEP Home Planning Environment Real Estate

Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000