Why the grass is so tall on parts of 390 and 490

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — You may have noticed that grass along 390 and 490 is unusually tall.

There’s a reason the New York State Department of Transportation has let it grow.

Letting the grass grow actually helps our local pollinators, like birds, bees and butterflies, produce more plants.

The NYSDOT has been using its abundance of land for good.

“This week between June 19 and June 23 is National Pollinators Week. I feel like a lot of folks don’t know that the department of transportation dedicates a lot of time and resources to promoting pollinators,” Public Information Officer for the NYSDOT Joe Leathersich said.

Pollinators help us a lot by pollinating plants that wildlife, and we, rely on. They play a huge role in the ecosystem and they need our help to do so.

“So 90% of flowering plants require pollination, and flowering plants are the reason we have oxygen,” Environmental Specialist with the NYSDOT Sarah Lazazzero.

That’s why the DOT has been approaching its work a little differently.

“As part of that projects we have done some reclamation of land. Meaning we’ve mowed the land to a certain way that it’ll come up and grow and promote those pollinators,” Leathersich said.

Without pollinators, certain plants won’t grow, and that can lead to a decline in the populations that depend on those plants.

“The protection of the monarch plant that they need. It’s basically their nursery. It’s where they lay their eggs, it where the babies are raised, it where caterpillars develop on. So they need the milkweed for their life development,” Lazazzero said.

If you want to help pollinators at home, you can let your grass grow taller too. And the other plus to that, of course, is less time spent mowing the lawn.