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April 20, 2012

Purdue, INDOT plant native grasses along roads

Indianapolis —  

Prairie grasses have started growing alongside Indiana roadways as part of a research project involving Purdue University and the Indiana Department of Transportation.
Warm season prairie grasses are beginning to take root at eight research sites around the state. INDOT says the plants will help fight erosion and defend against invasive plants that threaten the state’s ecosystem. A diverse mix of species will bloom from May through October.
The highway department says the root systems of native plants extend deep into the soil, helping to reduce erosion. The Purdue research project will measure the environmental benefits of the eight native plantings, including the grasses’ ability to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
INDOT says taxpayers will benefit from lower maintenance costs through reduced mowing and limited herbicide applications.

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