I-76 Is Blossoming Into A Pollinator Highway For Colorado Bees, Birds And Even Flies

August 2, 2018
Photo: Bees and butterflies pollinating - AP PhotoAP
A white butterfly and a bee share a blossom on a field near Frankfurt, Germany, Wednesday, July 4, 2018.

Soon the buzzing heard down the I-76 won't just come from cars, but from hives of pollinators too. The route connecting Denver to Nebraska is becoming a pollinator highway through a collaboration between the state, the Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster and the nonprofit People and Pollinators Action Network (PPAN). Entomologist and Butterfly Pavilion beekeeper Mario Padilla and PPAN co-chair Joyce Kennedy talked to Colorado Matters about the effort.

Bees are handily Colorado's top pollinators, but other insects such as flies and beetles as well as birds and bats also play a role. The project will introduce many more flowering plants and remove noxious weeds along I-76. Since the added plants will be native to the environment, the upkeep is minimal.