RNS
Browse Projects > Detailed View

Designing and Managing Roadsides to Encourage Pollinators

Description:

In response to the well documented decline of pollinator species, including both bees and butterflies (most notable of these is the Monarch Butterfly), a number of State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) have begun to develop policies and roadside planting approaches that would use highways rights-of-ways to provide a safe haven for pollinators. Past research has focused on determining plant species that can be placed along the roadside, how these species might be best included, and to a lesser extent on how to maintain the roadsides to facilitate these plantings.

Given that this problem is larger than the roadside and has developed over decades, the important question is how on a larger level can policy within a DOT affected a change to the trajectory of the decline? Specifically for this research, what policies need to be in place to allow this change? How is buy in of those adjacent to the right-of-way best achieved? What education is needed for neighbors, maintenance staff and roadways users to allow for a viable approach to the implementation of a roadside vegetation change?

A primary missing component in the Pollinator habitat crisis is the implementation of best management practices (BMPs) and the critical role that transportation corridors play in connecting public and private lands. The various landowners must cooperate to fully implement BMPs so that fragmented habitat is re-connected as much as practicable. Education of transportation corridor mangers and adjacent property owners, whether public, private, federal, local or state, is a challenging task but one that is vital to the success of any pro-pollinator policies. The payoff will be a seamless approach to “across the fence” dialog and will result in a shared understanding and vision for the challenge. The success of the implementation will be established by the corridor managers and off-corridor managers.

To date most of the research that has been completed on pollinators has focused on the species base and implementation of test plots. However, there has been a lack of study on how agencies can implement a pollinator encouraging program and how this program can be communicated to community partners, and in particular to farmers and those on “the other side of the fence_”._ Without buy in from the adjacent community, and DOT staff, any program, no matter how well intended is bound to fail.

Objective:

The objective of this research is to determine:

·

What national or international policies currently exist for communication and management of pollinator practices

·

specific policies and approaches to the implementation of a program to encourage the development of pollinator support elements within a State DOTs rights-or-way that work

·

developing a methodology for creating buy-in of those adjacent to the right-of-way

·

Identifying any establish performance metrics that may be in place to evaluate the efficacy of existing policies

Benefits:

A primary missing component in the Pollinator habitat crisis is the implementation of BMPs and the critical role that transportation corridors play in connecting public and private lands. The various landowners must cooperate to fully implement BMPs so that fragmented habitat is re-connected as much as practicable. Education of transportation corridor mangers and adjacent property owners, whether public, private, federal, local or state, is a challenging task but one that is vital to the success of any pro-pollinator policies. The payoff will be a seamless approach to “across the fence” dialog and will result in a shared understanding and vision for the challenge. The success of the implementation will be established by the corridor managers and off-corridor managers.

Related Research:

Transportation Research Synthesis: Partnerships for Promoting Pollinator Habitat; https://trid.trb.org/view/1410252

Relevance:

Pollinator collapse

Sponsoring Committee:AFB40, Landscape and Environmental Design
Research Period:12 - 24 months
Research Priority:High
RNS Developer:Keith Robinson
Source Info:AFB40
Date Posted:01/15/2019
Date Modified:02/06/2019
Index Terms:Roadside fauna, Roadside flora, Roadside improvement, Pollinators, Highway maintenance,
Cosponsoring Committees: 
Subjects    
Highways
Design
Environment

Please click here if you wish to share information or are aware of any research underway that addresses issues in this research needs statement. The information may be helpful to the sponsoring committee in keeping the statement up-to-date.