Case Studies

Evaluating Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management (IRVM) Techniques to Improve Pollinator Habitat

This report from the Maryland Department of Transportation determines ideal vegetation management tactics. The goal of this study is to identify which tactics maximize quality floral resources for pollinators in the Northeast and to assess how those different regimes affect regional bee populations. 


Native Species for Roadslope Revegetation: Selection, Validation, and Cost Effectiveness

This paper published by Restoration Ecology outlines a study performed in Spain that evaluated a procedure to select suitable native species for roadslope revegetation, validated the procedure by means of field sowing experiments, and assessed the cost effectiveness of using native seed mixes as compared to commercial ones.


Roadside Vegetation Management of Invasive Plants

This report was developed by Maine Department of Transportation to better understand how they can maximize benefits in Roadside Vegetation Management, by conducting a research project by the Maine Natural Areas Program (MNAP) to investigate invasive plant and native plant diversity along the roadsides.


Cost-Effective Native Seed Mix Design and First-Year Management

The paper is available at Iowa State University Digital Repository. The objective was to compare native plant density, canopy cover, and cost effectiveness with and without establishment mowing for three different seed mixes that differed in grass-to-forb ratio and soil type customization.


Creating Economically and Ecologically Sustainable Pollinator Habitat

This document prepared by Florida Department of Transportation evaluates a cost-effective strategy for creating habitat for pollinators/beneficial insects in the ROW beyond the back-slope.


Survey of Key Monarch Habitat Areas Along Roadways in Central and North Florida

Roadsides in North and Central Florida harbor a large number of milkweed populations important to the monarch butterfly. A total of 303 roadway locations had one or more plants of the target species. A comprehensive geo-referenced Excel spreadsheet of all populations locations and related population data was developed and submitted to the Florida Department of Transportation. Communication/dissemination and vegetation management recommendations are presented to help maximize the availability and productivity of roadside milkweed populations for monarch and pollinator conservation.


Public Perception and Sustainable Roadside Vegetation Management Strategies

This literature review presents a comprehensive review of the history of roadside vegetation management strategies, policy and roadside vegetation, benefits associated with sustainable vegetation management strategies, public perception of roadside landscapes, the impact of information relevant to the roadside landscape on public perception, and the Delaware Department of Transportation’s (DelDOT) experimentation with sustainable strategies.


Evaluation of Mowing Frequency on Right-of-Way Plant Communities in Mississippi

Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management posted a study on the effects of decreased mowing on roadsides and it’s effect on plant communities. With the decline of grasses and wildflowers alongside rights-of-ways new strategies for their maintenance and care have surfaced.


Economic Impact of Ecosystem Services Provided by Ecologically Sustainable Roadside Right of Way Vegetation Management Practices

This report prepared by the University of Florida on behalf of the Florida Department of Transportation estimates the economic value of Florida’s State Highway System roadside right-of-way ecosystem.


Iowa Living Roadway Trust Fund Projects Awarded for Iowa Ecotype Project

This summary compiled by the Tallgrass Prairie Center at the University of Northern Iowa identifies native seed collection projects funded by the Iowa Living Roadway Trust Fund. These activities are part of the Iowa Ecotype Project, which seeks to develop high quality native prairie seed.


Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM) for INDOT Roadsides

This study performed by the Joint Transportation Research Program at Purdue University in conjunction with the Indiana Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration evaluated three IVM tools: herbicide, mowing, and native species. The effectiveness and costs of each are compared.


Lilli Pipeline Pollinator Garden Monitoring Report

Noble Energy, Inc. in collaboration with the U.S. Forest Service established a pollinator garden along a portion of the Lilli Pipeline in northwest Colorado. This report outlines the results of the second year of growth at the site.


Shrub Willows Make for Effective, Inexpensive Snow Fences in Minnesota

Researchers at the Minnesota Department of Transportation planted shrub willows as living snow fences along U.S. 14 in Waseca, Minnesota. The hybrid willow shrub fences, which cost much less to install than traditional snow fence plants and grow to serviceable size several years faster, trapped up to 3 metric tons of snow in their second season.


Optimal Timing of Power Line Rights-of-Way Management for the Conservation of Butterflies

In this study, The Royal Entomological Society investigated vegetation clearing activities on power line rights-of-ways (ROWs) in Finland and evaluated optimal clearing intervals in terms of butterfly species richness and abundance.