Roadsides for wildlife

Grassy roadsides can be for the birds!

Although these ribbons of green make up only a small fraction of our land area, researchers have found them to be highly productive nesting sites for more than 40 kinds of birds and animals that nest on the ground or in low vegetation. Examples include pheasants, gray partridge, rabbits, waterfowl, and songbirds. Roadsides represent over 500,000 acres of permanent grassland in Minnesota’s pheasant range. Unfortunately, many thousands of nest and nest sites are destroyed annually in southern and western Minnesota because of disturbance to our roadsides during spring and summer (late April through early August).

Management plays a key role in how productive our roadsides will be for wildlife. Your help is needed to give wildlife the edge. Learn about planting native grasses.

Native prairie grasses and flowers in roadsides enhance wildlife habitat, provide long-term maintenance savings, increase water filtration, help catch snow and improve aesthetics.

Native grasses and flowers also help restore the tall grass prairie, an endangered ecological habitat.


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Roadsides for Wildlife Objectives

Roadside Mowing Law

Getting Involved


Living Snow Fences

Additional Resources


Sign: Roadsides for Wildlife sign

Rural residents can show their concern for wildlife by displaying a "Roadsides for Wildlife" sign.  The yellow signs are 10-1/2 x 13-1/2 and are distributed free of charge while supplies last. Contact Greg Hoch at  651-259-5230 /


Roadsides are for the Birds youth poster contest

2014 contest winners »

2014 poster gallery »


Native grasses

Growth »

Soil stabilization »

Weed control »


Steps for establishing »



(PDF files)

Let Meadowlarks Nest »

Pollinators and Roadsides »

Protect Our Turtles »

Put down some roots: Plant Prairie »

Stop Invasive Plants »

Tallgrass Prairie Plants »

Tallgrass Prairie Animals »



(PDF files)

Establishing Prairie Grasses and Wildflowers »

Mowing Smart »

Prairie Flower Guide »

Roadsides for Wildlife »

Roadways and Turtles »



Benefits of delaying roadside mowing - Singing Roadsides Public Service Announcement 1,173K MP3



Posters and publications are available by contacting

For more information on Roadsides For Wildlife:

Greg Hoch


Roadsides for Wildlife information is brought to you through a joint project of the Minnesota DNR and Minnesota Department of Transportation Office of Environmental Services.