Grassy roadsides help wildlife

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

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.