RALEIGH -The beautiful wildflower beds dotting North Carolina's highways took center stage today at the Annual Wildflower Awards ceremony in Raleigh. The awards were given to N.C. Department of Transportation staff who cultivated the best-looking flowers of 2013, as voted on by a panel of judges. They also recognize the efforts of all NCDOT crews who help carry out the Wildflower Program and work to enhance the overall appearance and environmental quality of the state's highways.
The awards were presented by Secretary Tony Tata, State Roadside Environmental Unit Engineer Don G. Lee and Garden Club of North Carolina Roadside Development Committee Chair Pat Cashwell at the monthly Board of Transportation meeting. The awards are sponsored by The Garden Club of North Carolina Inc.
A photo gallery of the award-winning flower beds can be found on NCDOT's Flickr page.
The 2013 award winners are:
Best Overall Division Wildflower Program: First Place -Division 7, which includes Alamance, Caswell, Guilford, Orange and Rockingham counties; Second Place -Division 12, which includes Alexander, Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell and Lincoln counties.
William D. Johnson Daylily Award: First Place -Division 13 -West I-26 at Mars Hill in Madison County; Second Place -Division 4 -I-95 at N.C. Welcome Center in Northampton County.
Best Regional Wildflower Planting, Eastern Region: First Place -Division 4 -U.S. 70 Bypass at Little Creek in Johnston County; Second Place -Division 1 -N.C. 11 at Pecan Grove in Hertford County.
Best Regional Wildflower Planting, Central Region: First Place -Division 8 -U.S. 220 North of Candor in Montgomery County; Second Place -Division 9 -I-85 median in Davidson County.
Best Regional Wildflower Planting, Western Region: First Place -Division 14 -N.C. 107 at Cullowhee in Jackson County; Second Place -Division 13 -I-40 at Exit 66 in Buncombe County.
The NCDOT Wildflower Program began in 1985 and is coordinated by the department's Roadside Environmental Unit, which installs and maintains 1,500 acres of wildflowers along North Carolina's highways. The program is primarily funded through the sale of personalized license plates.