Wildflowers Brought to You By TxDot

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txdot flowers

Texas Wildflowers

Since the 1930’s The Texas Department of Transportation (former Texas Highway Department) has been actively incorporating wildflowers into road side development.   They have developed a strategic plan to plant, maintain and encourage growth of Texas wildflowers along the State’s many highway

The Texas Highway Department was organized in 1917 and one of the first things they noticed were how quickly the wildflowers emerged after roadside cuts and fills as the ever increasing highway system evolved across the State.  In 1932 the first landscape architect was hired by the department with his charge being to implement strategies for wildflower habitat along the rights of way.  One of the first things they did was to delay mowing until after the Spring and Summer wildflower season so as not to destroy the plants. They have also enacted regulations to limit billboards, screen junkyards and encourage environmentally sound landscape programs throughout the State.

Today, TxDot has a full scale vegetation management program which includes sowing 30,000 pounds of seeds along the State’s highways.   State officials fully realize the benefit the flowers bring not only for attracting tourism to the state but also to help with landscape restoration and to help alleviate erosion.

The State encourages tourism to view the flowers and people, from all over North America, flock to view the flowers at the peak of the season.  This in turn, adds revenue to State and local communities and showcases all the wonderful things Texas has to offer.  Take a drive down any one of the well known wildflower routes on an April weekend and the traffic will be bumper to bumper with folks admiring natures bounty.  The State discourages people from walking through the flowers and from picking them as it causes irreversible injury to plants.  That however, does not stop people from standing along roadsides trying to capture that once in a lifetime photo of beautiful blue bonnets, Texas paintbrush or flowering cacti.

Texas is fortunate to have a program that values the natural beauty of the environment and takes and active interest in ensuring its future.  The program controls erosion, preserves it past and present vegetation and provides a natural habitat for the wildlife.

The next time  you are driving through the State, during the Spring and Summer, take a closer look along edges of the highways and note what you see.  Wildflowers abound and bring a brilliant beauty to the landscape as only nature intended.

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