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Pollinator Habitat Management

Butterfly on flowers at Point Iroquois light on Lake Superior.
Department of Transportation

Pollinator Habitat Management

Pollinator populations are in decline worldwide, most notably in insect pollinators. MDOT has developed a habitat management plan to protect pollinators and their habitats in rights of way in response to pollinator population decline. By reducing negative impacts on pollinator habitat, improving existing habitat and creating new habitat in our roadsides, we can help pollinators by giving them safe travel corridors, food and shelter. By protecting pollinators, we are helping farmers produce crops and feed livestock, assisting beekeepers by providing a source of food for their bees, and improving wildlife habitat throughout Michigan.

Pollinator Habitat Management Program


Kelsey Alvarado
Endangered Species Coordinator

How is MDOT Helping Pollinators?

MDOT’s Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management Program MDOT utilizes an integrated roadside vegetation management approach that accomplishes dual goals of minimizing cost and promoting environmental health. The integrated roadside vegetation management approach integrates the following to meet these goals:

  • The needs of local communities and highway users.
  • Knowledge of ecology and natural processes.
  • Design, construction and maintenance considerations.
  • Monitoring and evaluation.
  • Government statutes and regulations.
  • The use of cultural, biological, mechanical, and chemical control methods to manage roadsides for safety and environmental and visual quality economically.

    MDOT adheres to the guidance provided by the FAST Act in its management approach. This includes reduced mowing (mechanical control), creation of pollinator habitat through plantings of native flowering plants (a type of cultural control), and creation of long and connected stretches of habitat to serve as safe migratory corridors for pollinators. In addition, MDOT does not use insecticides in the rights of way and schedules herbicide application (chemical control) strategically in order to most effectively manage invasive species and promote pollinator habitat health. MDOT also uses biological controls, such as prescribed fires and insects, to combat invasive species.