Through partnerships, MnDOT has fostered over 350 projects and worth over 7 million dollars of roadside landscaping improvements in communities while spending less than one third of that amount in State Highway Funds. Additionally, MnDOT benefits from an annual cost savings/avoidance of nearly $1.75 million dollars for ongoing work necessary to maintain the landscape plantings. In the past few years, the MnDOT landscape partnership program and projects have received over 60 national and state awards.
Public requests for highway landscaping have continually increased in Minnesota. When local community residents are actively involved in their roadside planting projects, they are more satisfied with the outcomes. Resident involvement often provides the momentum, “community spirit” and resources needed for additional community support in other projects.
Landscape partnerships expand the network of responsibility, pride and ownership of highway landscaping. When designed, installed and maintained properly, landscape partnerships provide the sense of “ownership” and context that promotes the identity of the community to the traveling public. Local community care and maintenance increases the protection of the landscape investments and the likelihood that the plantings will prosper.