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[INDOT] Innovative Approaches Tested for Cleaner, Greener Roadsides
Start Date: 4/19/2012
End Date: 4/19/2012
Entry Description
INDIANAPOLIS – With roughly 11,000 miles of highways crossing the state, the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) is one of the largest property owners in Indiana. INDOT is partnering with researchers and the private sector to test innovative approaches that remove litter, promote drainage and improve environmental quality for highway roadsides while reducing costs to taxpayers.

Through its Joint Transportation Research Program, INDOT is partnering with Purdue University’s Department of Forestry and Natural Resources on a research project that leverages INDOT’s successful wildflower and native grass program. At eight sites being researched around the state, warm season prairie grasses are just beginning to take root, defending against invasive plants and noxious weeds that threaten Indiana’s ecosystem.

A diverse mix of species that account for regional and seasonal variations in climate will soon bloom from May through October, providing for improved aesthetics and pollination. The root systems of native plants extend deep into the soil, helping to reduce erosion. The Purdue research project will attempt to quantify the environmental benefits of the eight native plantings, including the grasses’ ability to remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere.

In addition to the environmental advantages, it is anticipated that taxpayers will benefit from reduced maintenance costs through reduced mowing cycles and limited herbicide applications. More information, including a map of test sites, is available at:

In the nine-county Indianapolis area, INDOT partnered with private litter control providers trained to safely remove litter and trash along heavily-traveled interstate highways. Under the Sponsor-a-Highway pilot program, businesses and organizations compensate the private service providers for litter control and have their name and logo included on roadside signs.

“This is a great opportunity for local businesses to improve their visibility as good corporate citizens while providing a valuable public service and helping our environment,” said Sarah Parkes, Territory Manager with Adopt-a-Highway Litter Removal Service of America.

“Since it first began in California 23 years ago, state Sponsor-a-Highway programs continue to deliver what is promised and remain one of the leading examples of successful public/private collaborations,” said Patricia Nelson, President of Adopt a Highway Maintenance Corp. “The motoring public benefits from highly concentrated litter control, the taxpayer receives a valuable service free of charge and we help create private sector jobs.”

The pilot program is currently removing more than 100 bags of loose trash from the 31 sponsored highway segments each month without any additional costs to taxpayers. More information about the program, including a map of available segments, is available at
Location Information:
Marion County
Contact Information:
Name: Will Wingfield
Phone: 317-233-4675
Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Initiatives
  • Category:
  • Visiting & Playing
  • Agency Name
    Transportation, Indiana Department of

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