The Monarch Highway, a designation made last year by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and six state DOTs along Interstate 35, has launched a new logo in concert with National Pollinator Week.
FHWA and the DOTs from Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas designated the 1,500-mile I-35 corridor as Monarch Highway in the spring of 2016. The partnership is a commitment these agencies share with nonprofits, such as the National Wildlife Federation, to help protect the monarch butterfly and other pollinating insects.
The designation makes it possible for land along the interstate to be developed to add more plants to create food sources and refuge for pollinators.
“State roadways provide acres of habitat ideal for pollinators, but that’s only a small portion needed for pollinator recovery,” says Minnesota DOT Commissioner Charlie Zelle. “It’s important to build awareness and education about pollinator needs along the I-35 corridor to ensure monarch butterflies and other pollinators can flourish.”
“Maintaining habitat for these butterflies falls right in line with Iowa’s long-standing program of roadside revegetation,” says Iowa DOT Director Mark Lowe. “In the past few decades a large portion of Iowa’s state-managed roadways have been restored to more closely reflect Iowa’s tall grass prairie heritage.”
The new logo incorporates symbolic design features: the dotted lines represent lane markers “guiding” the monarch home; the yellow is representative of the butterflies migration along the corridor; and the blue background is a symbol of the “miles butterflies travel to reproduce in northern climates.”