Benefits of Roadside Plantings

Transportation Enhancements Go Beyond Just "Beautification"

Transportation enhancement plantings along our state and federal highways and our county roads are critical elements of a complete road system.  Well-designed and properly installed native plantings:
  • Slow, absorb, and clean water that runs off the highway, resulting in reduced soil erosion, flood control and cleaner water supplies.
  • Serve as living snow fences, catching snow rather than letting it drift across travel lanes.
  • Provide important pollinator habitat adjacent to farm fields, orchards and vineyards.

Native plants are used in roadsides for functional reasons, not aesthetic, because they are:
  • durable, long lived perennials
  • best adapted to Iowa's climate and growing conditions
  • able to survive the stresses of road right-of-ways

Transportation enhancements help build our state and local economies by:
  • Minimizing necessary roadside maintenance.
  • Supporting trail construction and tourism.
  • Helping small Iowa communities attract visitors off major highways by making their community more attractive.
  • Employing landscaping professionals and County Roadside Managers.
  • Supporting farmers who cultivate and sell Iowa native plant seeds, wildflowers, grasses and other plant material.

Transportation enhancements also enrich our communities and celebrate our history by providing much needed funds for:
  • Trail construction
  • Restoration and operation of historical transportation buildings, structures and facilities
  • Scenic and historic byways

Less than 1%

of funding spent on our highways, roads and bridges is designated for Transportation Enhancement activities.