Yes, Roadsides and all the Other Wildflowers Matter!

August 10, 2017 12:00 AM

The title to this article is the answer to a question I get often. I suspect the curiosity is spawned from a combination of state law, which mandates roadsides be spared the mower until at least July 15th, and our deeply-rooted Midwestern sense of obligation to keep “a clean farm.” However, the simple argument that “a clean farm” is a closely manicured one, from the barn yard to the ditches, arguably falls short. Stands of wildflowers and grasses in roadsides, idle areas, and barn lots provide aesthetic beauty, habitat for everything from butterflies to deer, and play an important role in keeping our air and water clean. Roadsides – and all the other wildflowers – matter!...

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Author(s): 

Adam Janke Assistant Professor

Adam Janke is the statewide Wildlife Extension Specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Adam is a trained wildlife biologist, having received a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in wildlife conservation and ecology from three land-grant schools in the Midwest.  He is also certified ...