Natural roadsides are the result of preserving or restoring native vegetation--the plant life growing in an area at or before settlement time. The limited mowing typical of natural roadsides allows for extensive root system development to resist erosion. The native vegetation's variety and adaptability provide a reserve to sustain the cover through adverse conditions. Natural roadsides thus have the capacity to fulfill their intended highway function while providing a preserve of native flora and fauna for years to come. In the 1950s Wisconsin's highway planners and roadside specialists made a decision that was a significant turning point in the state's history and philosophy of roadside maintenance. They recommended that selected areas be left unmowed. Subsequent policy changes replaced the control-based program that resulted in a mowed pure grass cover, with a program based on concern for the plant community and its performance. Goals of the program include protection of the highway facility, user safety, and pleasing esthetics and ecological respect. With confidence in the commitment for natural roadsides and increasing evidence of the success of natural regeneration, Wisconsin is now accelerating its restoration efforts. A committee of specialists, public officials, interested groups, and private citizens are also sharing their knowledge and experience for the benefit of Wisconsin's roadsides.

Media Info

  • Features: Photos;
  • Pagination: p. 49-53
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00491762
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 31 1990 12:00AM