Making motoring more memorable: N.C. DOT announces Wildflower Award winners

The N.C. Department of Transportation has 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.

The awards are sponsored by The Garden Club of North Carolina, Inc. Transportation Chief Operating Officer Jim Trogdon, GCNC President Judy Barnes and GCNC Roadside Committee Chair Pat Cashwell presented the awards at the Board of Transportation’s Nov. 30 meeting in Raleigh.

A photo gallery of the award-winning flower beds can be found here on NCDOT’s Flickr page.

The 2011 award winners are:

Best Overall Division Wildflower Program: First Place – Division 1, which includes Bertie, Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Hertford, Hyde, Martin, Northampton, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Tyrrell and Washington counties; Second Place – Division 4, which includes Edgecombe, Halifax, Johnston, Nash, Wayne and Wilson counties; Honorable Mention – Division 14, which includes Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Polk, Swain and Transylvania counties;


Division 14. Located on I-40 at Mile Marker 34 in Haywood County. Dwarf Red, Pink & White Bipinnatus Cosmos. (Best Overall Division Program – 3rd Place) Photo by NCDOTcommunications.

William D. Johnson Daylily Award: First Place – Division 14 – U.S. 441 Franklin in Macon County; Second Place – Division 9 – I-40 at U.S. 421 in Forsyth County; Honorable Mention – Division 13 – I-240 at Exit 4A in Buncombe County;


Division 13. Located at I-240 mile 4 median, near exit 4A in Buncombe County. Mary Todd Daylilies/ Russian Sage/ Autumn Joy Sedums.(W.D. Johnson Daylily Award – 3rd Place.) Photo by NCDOTcommunications.


Division 14. Located at U.S. 441 in Franklin in Macon County. Mauna Loa & Hyperion Daylilies. (W.D. Johnson Daylily Award – 1st Place). Photo by NCDOTcommunications.

Best Regional Wildflower Planting, Western Region: First Place – Division 11 – U.S. 601 in Surry County; Second Place – Division 13 – I-40 at mile marker 119 in Burke County; Honorable Mention – Division 14 – U.S. 74 at Exit 102 in Haywood County;


Division 14. Located on U.S. 74 at Exit 102 in Haywood County. Dwarf Red Bipinnatus Cosmos & Plains Coreopsis. (Best Regional Planting – Western – 3rd Place). Photo by NCDOTcommunications.

Best Regional Wildflower Planting, Central Region: First Place – Division 5 – I-40 at Aviation Parkway in Wake County; Second Place – Division 9 – I-85 at U.S. 52 in Davidson County; and Honorable Mention – Division 10 – I-485 at Idlewild Road in Mecklenburg County; and

Best Regional Wildflower Planting, Eastern Region: First Place – Division 6 – I-95 at mile markers 5 and 6 in Robeson County; Second Place – Division 4 – U.S. 117 Dudley in Wayne County; and Honorable Mention – Division 1 – U.S. 17 at Exits 254 and 256 in Pasquotank 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.

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About Jeff Fobes
As a long-time proponent of media for social change, my early activities included coordinating the creation of a small community FM radio station to serve a poor section of St. Louis, Mo. In the 1980s I served as the editor of the "futurist" newsletter of the U.S. Association for the Club of Rome, a professional/academic group with a global focus and a mandate to act locally. During that time, I was impressed by a journalism experiment in Mississippi, in which a newspaper reporter spent a year in a small town covering how global activities impacted local events (e.g., literacy programs in Asia drove up the price of pulpwood; soybean demand in China impacted local soybean prices). Taking a cue from the Mississippi journalism experiment, I offered to help the local Green Party in western North Carolina start its own newspaper, which published under the name Green Line. Eventually the local party turned Green Line over to me, giving Asheville-area readers an independent, locally focused news source that was driven by global concerns. Over the years the monthly grew, until it morphed into the weekly Mountain Xpress in 1994. I've been its publisher since the beginning. Mountain Xpress' mission is to promote grassroots democracy (of any political persuasion) by serving the area's most active, thoughtful readers. Consider Xpress as an experiment to see if such a media operation can promote a healthy, democratic and wise community. In addition to print, today's rapidly evolving Web technosphere offers a grand opportunity to see how an interactive global information network impacts a local community when the network includes a locally focused media outlet whose aim is promote thoughtful citizen activism.

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