Two Ohio Turnpike plazas to feature 17 native perennial plants

Middle Ridge Service Plaza renderingMiddle Ridge Service Plaza rendering

Two Ohio Turnpike & Infrastructure Commission service plazas, Middle Ridge and Vermilion Valley, will feature 17 Ohio-native plants as part of the Ohio Turnpike Native Plant Garden initiative.

Keep Ohio Beautiful and The Davey Tree Expert Co. are partnering with the agency on the project. Students from the Lorain County Joint Vocational School are scheduled to help install the plants on May 20.

“The native plant gardens will serve as a model to educate and encourage people to grow native species in their own gardens,” says Ohio Turnpike Executive Director Randy Cole. “These gardens will display a sense of beauty and place that is uniquely Ohio.”

“Our focus this year on pollinators will bring attention to their important role in Ohio’s food supply and the delight they can bring to residential gardens,” says Michael Mennett, Executive Director, Keep Ohio Beautiful.

“The Ohio Turnpike continues to explore innovative and exciting initiatives that add value to the customer travel experience,” Cole adds. “With the installation of these native plant gardens and in combination with the 60th Anniversary Exhibit at Vermilion Valley, the commission is working hard to enrich the Turnpike travel experience.”

The 17 native plants and shrubs include:

  • Bee Balm
  • Butterfly Weed
  • Ceanothus americanus
  • Cephalanthus Occidentalis
  • Gayfeather
  • Great Blue Lobelia
  • New England Aster
  • Northern Blue Flag
  • Ohio Goldenrod
  • Prairie Cone Flower
  • Purple Cone Flowers
  • Rattlesnake Master
  • Yarrow
  • Sullivant’s Prairie Milkweed
  • Swamp Milkweed
  • Swamp Rose Mallow
  • White Turtlehead
Vermilion Valley Service Plaza renderingVermilion Valley Service Plaza rendering