The Georgia Department of Transportation (Georgia DOT) is partnering with the Georgia Association of Conservation Districts (GACD) 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.

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“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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