UL-Lafayette opens Wildflower Seed Bank facility to help improve state roads

ST. MARTINVILLE, La. (KLFY) - The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is partnering with DOTD, The University of Louisiana at Monroe and Southeastern Louisiana University to help improve our state roads and facilities by planting some native wildflowers.

The 10,000 square foot facility will provide DOTD native wildflower seeds to plant along highways, interstates, state parks and welcome centers.

In 2005, UL-Lafayette partnered with UL-Monroe and Southeastern Louisiana University to secure a $1.7 million federal highway beautification grant administered by LaDOTD.

This allowed the renovation and purchase of seed cultivation, processing and storage to take place at the farm. The new facility includes; distribution spaces, with specialized equipment, research labs and dehumidified walk-in storage units. Operation manager, Mark Simon, said the planting of the seeds will have several benefits for the state.

"Besides the fact that they're beautiful while you're driving, and you're stressed you know and the traffic and everything," Simone said. "You’ve got the added benefit of growing wildflowers and not having to mow as often. So you cut back on your expenses statewide," he added. 

The 2018 planting season is this Fall, which,  will begin the beautification process. Seeds will be planted along I-49 and several other locations that will be announced in upcoming months.


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