|A butterfly lands on a milkweed plant.|
The Kansas Department of Transportation is buzzing about pollinators lately. This week is National Pollinator Week and KDOT, along with five other state DOTs and the Federal Highway Administration, signed an agreement that will improve pollinator habitat along I-35, a key migratory corridor for monarch butterflies.
Bee and monarch butterfly populations are on the decline. About three-quarters of the world's flowering plants and many of the food crops eaten in North America depend on pollinators. In the U.S., pollination produces nearly $24 billion worth of products annually. The lack of pollination would mean no apples, blueberries, almonds, melons, pumpkins, chocolate, coffee and more.
For the third year in a row, KDOT continues to help protect pollinator habitats by planting native wildflowers and grasses.
Last year, KDOT’s Environmental Services unit, along with KDOT crews from the Ottawa Subarea, planted approximately 15 acres of wildflower seeds on three plots of land around the Homewood rest area along I-35.
|KDOT crews plant 1,196 milkweed plugs at the U.S. 59 and I-35 interchange east of Ottawa.|
Recently, KDOT received a grant from the Monarch Watch and planted 1,196 milkweed plugs consisting of Common, Butterfly, Whorled and Green Antelopehorn species. KDOT Headquarter and the Ottawa Subarea office staff completed the project. This monarch habitat restoration project is located at the interchange at U.S. 59 and I-35 east of Ottawa and covers approximately 36 acres.
|KDOT crews plant 2,000 native wildflower pants, consisting of 32 different species at the U.S. 400 and U.S. 169 Junction in Montgomery County.|
Earlier this month, KDOT Headquarters and the Independence Subarea office staff used a grant from the Monarch Watch to plant 2,000 native wildflower plugs, consisting of 32 different species. This pollinator habitat project is located at the Montgomery County rest area, near the U.S. 400 and U.S. 169 junction, northeast of Independence. The plant beds are easily accessible to by sidewalk to those who utilize the rest stop and that meander through the area. Soon, informational signage will be placed along the pathways for visitors as they enjoy a leisurely walk near the colorful wildflowers.
Once these wildflowers and milkweed plugs are established, these areas will become havens for monarchs and many other pollinators.
|Table display at KDOT Headquarters.|
KDOT also has a table display located at the Eisenhower State Office Building with brochures and posters available until Friday in Topeka.
You can find more information on what KDOT is doing for pollinators at