Driving down Ohio’s highways, you might notice a little more spring sprouting around.
A statewide effort by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to create pollination habitats has resulted in 120 wildflower fields off our highways so far — with dozens more planned over the next three years.
By planting a combination of native grasses and wildflowers, the hope is to bring back vanishing monarch butterflies.
“The population has been declining over the last two decades by 90 percent,” explained Joel Hunt, head of ODOT highway beautification.
Such a decline, in fact, that Fish and Wildlife officials will soon decide if monarchs should be on the endangered list.
Habitats like this, though, are helping.
Last year, there was a 150 percent increase in the monarch population throughout the eastern United States, Hunt said.
You can read more about ODOT’s pollinator habitat initiative here.