ODOT Roadside Pollinator Projects

ODOT Interpretive Signage for Pollinator Garden at Education Center

Cardno is supporting the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) with several pollinator gardens at rest areas and travel centers along the state’s highway system.

This includes support for Ohio’s Pollinator Habitat Initiative (OPHI) by helping install designated pollinator way stations in both Madison and Wood Counties. Each station features prominent gardens, signage, and public education initiatives at rest stops along the highways.

Madison County (Interstate 70) Rest Area Pollinator Garden

Originally designed and built by Cardno, this unique rest area garden honors those who lost their lives in WWI, including approximately 6,500 soldiers from Ohio. Visitors to the garden have the opportunity to learn about Ohio’s role in WWI and its partnerships with veterans service organizations around the state.

Cardno’s team played a key role in this project by growing and supplying more than 1,600 full-size red poppies and native pollinator plants for the commemorative garden. The national symbol of the American Legion, the Red Poppy (Papaver rhoeas) is native to Europe and bloomed in battlefields and cemeteries all over Europe after World War I. A Centennial Celebration was held at the garden on May 24, 2018 and was attended and supported by former Ohio First Lady, Hope Taft, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), and the American Legion. 

Our team also designed the graphics and wrote the text for the commemorative posters and seed packets provided at the dedication ceremony, as well as the permanent signage explaining Ohio’s role in WWI and the symbol of the Red Poppy. The posters were also displayed at Ohio’s State House in Columbus.

Cardno’s Native Plant Nursery grew more than 1,600 annual poppy plants with approximately one out of every three plantings infused with an Ohio native pollinator species. The perennial pollinator plants are now thriving within the garden. Our team also completed the installation and continued maintenance of the pollinator project through 2020.

Wood County (Interstate 75) Travel Center Pollinator Garden

Cardno was contracted by ODOT to provide Pollinator Habitat Educational Materials and professional services for one of ODOT’s largest pollinator gardens, located off I-75 just south of Bowling Green, OH. Measuring nearly an acre in size, Cardno’s marketing team was initially contracted to provide high quality interpretative educational signage and educational booklets and design native seed packets that have been since distributed in travel center vending machines throughout rest areas in Ohio. 

At the WOOD-75 Pollinator Garden, Cardno has supplied and installed over 1,000 containerized native pollinator plants, including: wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis), butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa), whorled milkweed (Asclepias verticillata), tall coreopsis (Coreopsis tripteris), spotted Joe Pye weed (Eutrochium maculatum), wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa), common ironweed (Vernonia fasciculate), and prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis).

Cardno has continued to provide maintenance and monitoring services to ODOT, overseeing the development of this large and frequently visited pollinator habitat demonstration garden. Cardno’s marketing team, native plant nursery staff, and services teams collaborated with ODOT and their OPHI partners to complete this unique pollinator habitat educational demonstration project.

Both gardens fulfil ODOT’s commitment to increase pollinator habitat and support for the state’s habitat initiative.