Pollinator Habitat Program

Pollinator Habitat Program logoVDOT's Pollinator Habitat Program creates natural areas of native plants along state-maintained roads and properties. These areas provide habitats to threatened and dwindling pollinator species.

The program began in 2015 when VDOT planted four 900-foot  Pollinator Waystation plotsPollinator Waystations, filled with pollinator-friendly plants, are highly effective in attracting pollinators. 

The number of waystations continues to grow with a focus on natural gardens and meadows at rest areas, park-and-ride lots, and additional VDOT properties. 

About Pollinators

Pollinators contribute to the U.S. economy by keeping fruits, nuts and vegetables fertilized through a process of moving pollen from one flower or plant to another. Only fertilized flowers can make fruit and seeds.

Pollinators include:

  • Honey and native bees
  • Butterflies
  • Birds
  • Bats
  • Flies
  • Beetles.

Pollinator Habitats Benefit Transportation Priorities

In addition to providing habitat, the program:

  • Reduces mowing so that plants can mature and produce seeds. VDOT's "Best Practices Manual" recommends no mowing between November 1 and March 31.
  • Increases native vegetation to stabilize slopes and reduce erosion. Deep roots of native plants also decrease storm water runoff.
  • Decreases invasive species to reduce the costs of removing problem vegetation and using herbicides.

How You Can Support Pollinators

Wildflower and Protect Pollinators license plates fund the Pollinator Habitat Program. The plates are available for purchase through the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Wildflower plate   Pollinator Habitat plate

Learn More 

Monarch butterflyUSDA Forest Service: Attracting Pollinators to Your Garden Using Native Plants 
An illustrated guide explaining pollinators; their importance and how you can attract them to your own garden using native plants.

USDA Forest Service: Pollinators

Pollinator-Friendly Plants for the Northeast United States
Detailed plant list with individual pages per plant, including photos.

Status of the Monarch Butterfly
Latest information about Monarch butterflies from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Crown Bees 
Materials, resource information about native cavity nesting bees.

The Xerces Society
Information about invertebrate conservation, including many important pollinators.

Plant Virginia Natives
A hub for information about Virginia's native plants provided by the Virginia Native Plant Marketing Partnership. Includes downloadable native plant guides from seven regions of Virginia.

Heather Holm
Heather Holm has written two important books on native pollinators. Her website includes links to educational posters and articles she has written for Houzz.

Bringing Nature Home 
Website of University of Delaware professor and author Doug Tallamy.

Virginia's Natural Heritage Program 
A division of the Virginia Department of Conservation & Recreation, the Natural Heritage Program’s work focuses on science-based conservation to protect Virginia's native plant and animal life and the ecosystems upon which it depends

Digital Atlas of the Virginia Flora 
The Digital Atlas of the Virginia Flora is the online successor to the Atlas of the Virginia Flora. Although it is still a work in progress in many respects, the Digital Atlas contains the most comprehensive information available on the geographic distribution of vascular plants in the Commonwealth.

Virginia Native Plant Society 
Dedicated to the protection and preservation of the native plants of Virginia and their habitats, this website contains many resources on native plants and links to local chapters throughout Virginia


VDOT’s partners provide technical expertise, on-site volunteers to help with planting, and even materials such as mulch.

Pollinator Waystation

Watch on Youtube:
VDOT Creates a Pollinator Habitat in VDOT's Salem District


Martin Krebs, Environmental Stewardship Manager

Page last modified: Jan. 10, 2022