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Health, Science and Environment

Reviving endangered pollinators, one sunflower at a time

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Flickr User - Giò | https://flic.kr/p/276cqWz
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State transportation officials are doing their part to save the bees.

MDOT is planting sunflowers at rest areas and along major freeways to help endangered pollinators. The department is in its third year of the program.

Jocelyn [Jock-lin] Hall is a spokesperson for the department of transportation’s Bay region. She said the project is supported by the U.S. Department of Transportation  

“The US-DOT has encouraged all state departments to do whatever they can to support pollinators in any way.”

Hall said the department’s goal is to create a consistent food source to provide long term support for pollinators.

Although she said right now, state staff do all the work.

“The locations are in-right of way so they’re not two very busy roadways. At this point it’s only something our own staff are doing,” Hall said.  “But there are a lot of different ways, anybody involved, can get involved and finding ways to support pollinators.”

She said residents can help with the initiative by researching what plants they can plant in their backyards that would help pollinators like bees and monarch butterflies.

Hall said a big part of the project is to show awareness of endangered pollinators.

“That’s really part of this overall goal too is to educating the public a little bit on: what some of the needs are, where some shortcomings are, and what people can do to get involved,” she said. “Even if its on, what they believe is a small scale, it could make a really large impact to one of those pollinators who are i need of support.”

Hall says the MDOT is planning in the future to plant perennials instead of annual plants.