CNC recognized for highway pollinator garden

Environmental Excellence Award Recipient Henning von Schmeling, right.

ROSWELL, GA – The Chattahoochee Nature Center was recently recognized by the Federal Highway Administration for efforts as part of building The Ray, “the sustainable road of the future.”

Volunteers from Troup High School and Kia Motors in LaGrange, Ga. plant a pollinator garden along I-85.

The director of horticulture for CNC, Henning von Schmeling, received the 2019 Environmental Excellence Award on behalf of CNC January 6. This award was given to CNC for its involvement in the pollinator habitat installation at the The Ray, in conjunction with the Ray C. Anderson Foundation and the Georgia Department of Transportation. The Ray is 18 miles of highway along I-85, near the Alabama border, billing itself as the sustainability highway of the future. As part of the project, von Schmeling and CNC joined with volunteers from Troup High School and Kia Motors in LaGrange, Ga., and the LaGrange visitor’s center, to plant two pollinator gardens. CNC grew the native pollinator plants that were planted in the gardens.

“The nature center is honored to be involved in this project, especially one of this size, magnitude, and success,” said von Schmeling. “Native pollinator plants make perfect sense for roadsides. They have deep roots and require little upkeep, prevent soil erosion, water pollution, and are drought resistant. And they provide food sources and homes to all kinds of insect pollinators such as bees and butterflies, while being beautiful to look at.”

Von Schmeling said this is the first pollinator garden along a Georgia highway.