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​Pollinator Habitat Plan

The Presidential Memorandum, Creating a Federal Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and other Pollinators and the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) of 2015 both emphasize the importance of Integrated Vegetation Management (PDF) and encourage state Departments of Transportation to develop habitats for pollinators through planting of highway rights-of-way (ROW). The Pennsylvania Pollinator Protection Plan (P4; 2017) was recently completed through a collaborative effort of twenty-eight state, national and private stakeholder organizations and includes general guidelines in considering pollinator habitat development along roadsides and ROWs. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Pollinator Habitat Plan was developed in support of these P4, State and Federal actions.

Why Develop And Protect Pollinator Habitats

Historically, agriculture has been, and continues to be important to the Pennsylvania economy. The diversity of crops, and the number of pollinator dependent crops grown in Pennsylvania is greater than almost all other states. Nearly 75 percent of our flowering plants and crops are pollinator dependent. Pollinators are particularly important for fruit and vegetable production.

Habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation in combination with increases in pesticide use and introduced disease threaten the pollinators on which we depend for food crops and a sustainable agricultural economy. In fact the declining numbers of several species have been so significant that these species are under review for listing as federal threatened and endangered species, including the migratory Monarch Butterfly.

PennDOT's Pollinator Habitat Plan, will in partnership with other federal and state agencies, private and community organizations, create naturalized gardens and meadows planted with pollinator-friendly plant species at designated sites. Sites within rest areas and welcome centers will provide additional public education benefit.

Goals

  • Plant. Support the establishment of seasonal flowers that are pollinator host and forage plants at designated sites and apply integrated vegetation management (IVM) to sustain the developed habitats.
  • Protect. Minimize vehicle/pollinator conflicts through well planned site selection and designation.
  • Partner. Successfully partner with local community organizations through the PennDOT Adopt and Beautify Program to establish sites.
  • Promote. Provide educational signage, literature and web-media information about pollinators and their habitats in ROWs.

Adopt & Beautify for Pollinators

The PennDOT Adopt and Beautify Program is an expansion of our roadside clean-up Adopt a Highway Program. Volunteer groups can enhance PennDOT planting efforts and can support pollinator conservation by adopting, planting and maintaining a PennDOT designated Pollinator Habitat site. For an application and planting resource information, visit the Adopt and Beautify page.