A presentation on Scott County's new plan to preserve, plant and maintain native plants along its nearly 500 miles of secondary roads will begin at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Scott County Library, 200 N. 6th Ave., Eldridge.
The presentation titled "Be Part of the Solution!" is aimed at rural landowners who have control over road ditches. Presenters will explain how owners can participate in the plan, and how they can find out the names of plants currently growing in their ditches.
The plan goes by the long name of the Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management Program, and its goal is to boost the numbers of native plants that are deep-rooted and can thereby reduce soil erosion, help reduce flooding and — over the long-term — reduce maintenance. These plants also will have the added benefit of providing habitat for pollinators and other wildlife as well as beauty.
The plan also aims to reduce the numbers of non-native species and "weeds" through careful use of herbicides, spot mowing, prescribed burning and mechanical tree and brush removal.
Among the speakers will be Leland Searles, a consulting ecologist, who will discuss and show slides of the plants he identified during a two-year survey of the county's road ditches.
Also speaking will be Brian Burkholder, who has been hired as the county's roadside vegetation specialist to oversee the program.