Georgia’s highways can be more beautiful, and the drive more enjoyable, when the roadside is
painted in colorful wildflowers. But besides the beauty of nature, these meadows offer many benefits over common turf grass.
These meadows attract many pollinators which are important for our food supply. One out of every three bites you eat are made possible by busy bees, butterflies and birds that rely on flowers and plants as their food source. Georgia’s family farms need healthy pollinators to produce fresh fruits and vegetables.
Pollinator meadows also require less maintenance and less mowing than turf grass.
The Georgia Conservancy, Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG), Georgia DOT, the Chattahoochee Nature Center (CNC) and the team at The Ray came together in 2016 to install a 7,000-square-foot pollinator garden at the Georgia Visitor Information Center along The Ray’s stretch of I-85 in West Point.
The first of its kind at any Georgia DOT facility, the pollinator garden is a perfect habitat for honeybees and butterflies. It also helps beautify The Ray, showcasing to Georgians and visitors what’s possible when we reimagine our highways in a way that’s more sustainable and healthier for all species.
Following the first installation at the Visitors Center, The Ray partnered with Troup County High School, GDOT and CNC to plant a pollinator garden on the eroded back slope of the school near The Ray. We were excited to work side by side with Troup County High School’s Junior ROTC students for this installation
Beautification of The Ray is ongoing, and the Visitor Center’s pollinator garden is just one of the first visual delights to sprout. In the fall of 2018, The Ray and Georgia DOT are embarking on an ambitious pollinator project – planting the entire 18 miles of The Ray with pollinator-friendly native wildflowers in the center median.