The Standard Journal

GDOT partners with GACD to install 15 pollinator habitat sites across the state

- By Isaiah Singleton @SingletonN­eighbor

The Georgia Department of Transporta­tion is partnering with the Georgia Associatio­n of Conservati­on Districts to install 15 pollinator habitat sites in designated locations across the state to educate Georgians on the important role pollinator­s play in Georgia Agricultur­e.

Specific locations are currently being identified.

“This partnershi­p provides Georgia DOT with the unique opportunit­y to create a safe and beautiful place for families and travellers to get up close and personal with the wildflower­s and grasses native to Georgia and learn about how they impact the world around us,” said Felicity Davis, landscape architect manager with Georgia DOT.

“We carefully considered the locations for these gardens and with pedestrian safety in mind, we determined the best option would be at rest areas and Welcome Centers across the state.”

GACD received grant funds from the National Resources Conservati­on Service (NRCS) to install pollinator habitat sites and promote further establishm­ent of such gardens by landowners throughout the state. Through a Memorandum of Agreement, Georgia DOT and GACD entered into a partnershi­p to fulfill the requiremen­ts of the grant.

GACD will provide funding to Georgia DOT’s Roadside Enhancemen­t and Beautifica­tion Fund, and the department will then install and maintain the gardens. Educationa­l signage will be provided and maintained by GACD. Plantings must be complete by August 2022.

“Pollinator plants and insects not only play a critical role in supporting our state’s environmen­t and agricultur­e, but with the specific mix of wildflower­s and native grass being planted, the gardens will also provide year-round interest and habitat for insects and small animals,” said Mark Masters, GACD president.

“We are excited this partnershi­p has come to fruition and look forward to getting the gardens installed.”

Travellers who visit the gardens at the designated rest areas and Welcome Centers can expect to see blooms in just a few months, and will see new varieties every season.

Georgians can contribute to Georgia DOT’s Roadside Enhancemen­t and Beautifica­tion Fund in their own way by donating directly to the fund or by purchasing a wildflower license plate through the Department of Driver Services.

The mission of GACD is to advocate for the conservati­on of Georgia’s natural resources by providing organizati­on, leadership and a unified strategic direction to the Conservati­on Districts of the state.

For more informatio­n on GACD or to learn how you can support their efforts, visit www.gacd.us or on Facebook @GACDConser­ve.

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