Tennessee Roadscapes - Cultivating the Road Ahead
A new initiative from the Tennessee Department of Transportation provides opportunities for a variety of environmental stewardship and beautification programs along the interstates and highways of Tennessee. Under a comprehensive program, emphasis was placed on combining maintenance specific needs with environmental obligations as a way of enhancing and improving the state's roadways. This effort focused on decreasing maintenance costs through the use of sustainable native vegetation, which requires less maintenance and mowing, and increasing additional transportation resources through community involvement and volunteers. Volunteers help with litter removal and plantings and commit to long-term maintenance agreements to improve the aesthetic appeal of Tennessee roadways. Landscaping has helped promote tourism, developed community pride, enhanced economic development and improved the quality of life for the traveling public. This program shows what can be done to develop and implement an outstanding statewide program that utilizes partnerships to integrate widely separate functions into a comprehensive roadside management plan for plantings, maintenance and environmental stewardship.