RALEIGH – For more than 30 years, the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Wildflower Program has enhanced the overall appearance and environmental quality of the state’s highways. On Wednesday, the Garden Club of North Carolina and NCDOT presented the annual Wildflower Awards program at First Baptist Church in downtown Raleigh.
Wildflower beds are installed and maintained across the state by Roadside Environmental personnel in each of the 14 highway divisions. Awards were given to the best-looking flower beds in each region, as well as the best overall highway division wildflower program.
“From improving the environment to encouraging economic development and tourism, the Wildflower Program not only makes our roadways more attractive, but it also contributes to North Carolina’s overall quality of life,” said Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon.
Nearly 200 people attended the awards program, including first lady of North Carolina Kristin Cooper.
The Wildflower Awards were given for beds that bloomed in 2016. The winners are:
Best Overall Division Wildflower Program:
- First Place – Division 11, which includes Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes and Yadkin counties.
- Second Place – Division 4, which includes Edgecombe, Halifax, Johnston, Nash, Wayne and Wilson counties.
William D. Johnson Daylily Award:
- First Place – Division 13 – I-240 Median at Mile Marker 4 in Buncombe County.
- Second Place – Division 12 – I-85/U.S. 74 in Gaston County.
Best Regional Wildflower Planting, Eastern Region:
- First Place – Division 2 – U.S. 264 at Mozingo Road in Pitt County.
- Second Place – Division 4 – U.S. 117 in Wayne County.
Best Regional Wildflower Planting, Central Region:
- First Place – Division 9 – U.S. 52 at Perch Road in Forsyth County.
- Second Place – Division 10 – I-85 North at Graham Street in Mecklenburg County.
Best Regional Wildflower Planting, Western Region:
- First Place – Division 12 – I-85/U.S. 74 in Gaston County.
- Second Place – Division 11 – I-77 at Jonesville Road in Yadkin County.