Regional efforts to make highways more beautiful added up to statewide recognition recently when the N.C. Department of Transportation announced the winners of the 22nd Annual Wildflower Awards.
The awards recognize the efforts of NCDOT staff to carry out North Carolina’s wildflower program and enhance the overall appearance and environmental quality of the state’s highways.
In this area, the 2011 award winners are:
• Best Overall Division Wildflower Program: Honorable Mention – Division 14, which includes Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Polk, Swain and Transylvania counties.
• William D. Johnson Daylily Award: First Place – Division 14 – U.S. 441 Franklin in Macon County; Second Place, Division 13 – I-240 at Exit 4A in Buncombe County.
• Best Regional Wildflower Planting, Western Region: Honorable Mention – Division 14 – U.S. 74 at Exit 102 in Haywood County.
The NCDOT Wildflower Program began in 1985 and is coordinated by the department’s Roadside Environmental Unit, which installs and maintains 1,500 acres of wildflowers along North Carolina’s highways.