NCDOT’s Western Division wins wildflower award for display along I-85

Updated Apr 25, 2016

NCDOT-wildflowersThe North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Western Division (Division 12) has won first place for Best Regional Planting in the agency’s 2015 Wildflower and Daylily Awards.

The division’s winning wildflower bed is located at the Interstate 85 Cleveland County Welcome center near the state line and features poppies and larkspur in the spring and mixed zinnias in the fall.

“NCDOT has been planting wildflowers for 30 years,” says Don Lee, state roadside environmental engineer. “The benefit is not simply aesthetic. The flowers help sustain the pollinator population, which is vital to the success of the state’s agribusiness community.”

The agency says Division 12 planted 47 total acres across its territory last year, including three acres of pollinator beds to promote local pollinator habitats.

“I am grateful to be part of such a special program to promote beautification along North Carolina’s roadsides,” says Division 12 Roadside Environmental Engineer Morgan DeWit. “Our employees work exceptionally hard year-round to make this happen and take pride in the finished product.”

The NCDOT Wildflower Program began in the mid 1980s and has grown to 1,500 flowerbeds across the state.