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Provided by VDOT

FAIRFAX – Today the Virginia Department of Transportation, Dominion Virginia Power and Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy planted 1,544 pollinator-friendly plants at four locations in northern Virginia.

The sites will serve as “waystations,” or refuges, for monarch butterflies and other threatened pollinators by providing nectar and shelter to protect and boost populations.

Volunteers dug 900 square-foot beds and planted 386 plants at each of the four VDOT-owned sites in northern Virginia:

  • Southbound I-95 Dale City (car-only) Rest Area
  • Stringfellow Road commuter lot in Centreville
  • Telegraph Road commuter lot in Woodbridge
  • Dulles North commuter lot in Sterling

All of the plants are native and include 13 species:

  • Common milkweed (asclepias syriaca)
  • Swamp milkweed (asclepias incarnata)
  • New England Aster (Aster nova-angliae)
  • Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
  • Joe Pye (Eupatorium maculatum)
  • Beebalm/Oswego Tea (Monarda didyma)
  • Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)
  • Wrinkle-leaved Goldenrod (Solidago rugosa)
  • Blue-stem Goldenrod (Solidago caesia)
  • New York Ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis)
  • Stiff Goldenrod (Solidago rigida)
  • Hoary Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum incanum)
  • Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’)

The plants will attract a multitude of pollinators including native and honey bees, monarchs and other butterfly species, and beetles.

VDOT provided the land along with volunteers to plant the way stations while Dominion provided funding and a cadre of volunteers and Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy provided technical expertise.

“These sites will make for beautiful gardens, with blossoms from late spring through fall,” said Diane Beyer, Roadside Management Planner for VDOT’s Maintenance Division. “We are hoping this pilot project will lead to a statewide pollinator planting program—one all residents of the Commonwealth can be proud of.”

“We are pleased to partner with the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy and VDOT to put our energies to work for the monarch butterfly and for our environment,” said Carolyn Moss, Managing Director, Mid-Atlantic State and Local Affairs for Dominion Resources. “We each have an obligation to leave our planet in the same condition as we inherited it. Planting way stations for monarch butterflies and other threatened pollinators will go a long way toward preserving the special qualities they bring to our everyday lives.”

“We are thrilled to see two powerhouse organizations like VDOT and Dominion Power not only working together but also putting a focus on habitat restoration and public outreach efforts to help Bring Back the Monarchs and restore pollinator health,” said Nicole Hamilton, President of Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy. “We need to bring back over one million acres of milkweed and nectar habitat annually to succeed, and both VDOT and Dominion Power manage lands that can help make significant strides in achieving this. The plantings today are a wonderful step in making change happen and a demonstration of how we all can make a difference. Every plant counts.”

The four sites will be registered through the Monarch Watch Waystation Program. More information is available atwww.monarchwatch.org/waystations/


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