(WGHP) — Have you driven anywhere in the state and noticed the hundreds of bright-colored flowers on the highways? Well, those flowers are not growing randomly. It’s part of a state program.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation plants them as part of the state’s Wildflower Program throughout 14 divisions.
According to the NCDOT, the program started in 1985 and is getting even better today, with the help of residents who purchase personalized license plates.
“Without the folks that we have in the department, and the support, the motorist with the personalized license plates, there’s no way we could put these on the roadside,” said Kevin Clemmer, vegetation management supervisor with the NCDOT.
Clemmer said while the flowers are beautiful to see, it’s unsafe to pull over to get a closer look. They are not meant for people to take home or to stop and take pictures with.
“It is against the law to pick the flowers, but more importantly, it is for the safety. Let the flowers be, let them grow, let them bloom, and that way everybody else can enjoy them the next day,” Clemmer said.
Clemmer said the flowers are more than what meets the eyes. They also serve as natural pollinators for honey bees, helping to build community agriculture.
Clemmer is one of the many people to put hard work and passion into making the program among the most recognized in the country.
NCDOT has a booklet list of wildflowers planted throughout the state.