Habitat and Ecosystem Conservation,  Pennsylvania,  Quality of Life Benefits of Transportation

Erie County Event Brings Awareness to PennDOT’s Pollinator Program

The Pennsylvania DOT is partnering with organizations to identify medians and right-of-way areas to host gardens and habitats to bolster pollinator populations and enhance the beauty of the state.

Things were abuzz in PennDOT’s District 1 this summer when we partnered with the local chapter of Pheasants Forever to hold an awareness event for our pollinator garden and habitat adoption program at the Interstate 90 interchange with Route 8 in Erie County.

In 2019, the conservation group adopted a 5.5-acre plot at the interchange in Millcreek Township, Erie County. During fall 2019 and spring 2020, they worked to rid the area of invasive plants and sow a bed of native vegetation. Late this summer, the flowers were blooming and the bees were buzzing, making it the perfect location for the awareness event.

“Through the PennDOT’s Adopt and Beautify Program, we can partner with organizations to identify medians and right-of-way areas to host gardens and habitats to bolster our pollinator populations as well as enhance the beauty of our state,” said Brian McNulty, P.E., District 1 Executive.

PennDOT’s Pollinator Habitat Plan was developed with four goals in mind – plant, protect, partner, and promote. The plan supports efforts to establish, maintain, and increase areas with seasonal native wildflowers and plants that help sustain the state’s pollinator species. This is done predominately through partnerships with other conservation-minded organizations.

The I-90 plot was the second adoption in the northwest region. The Corry Garden Club has a small plot on Route 77 in Erie County. The garden features three types of milkweed and a “bee pole”.

The statewide adoption program is open to groups of any sort, including clubs, schools, churches, businesses, and families. It requires at least a two-year commitment to plant and maintain the designated area. PennDOT offers gloves, safety vests, and garbage bags to groups as needed. Other assistance is given on a case-by-case basis.

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