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Water Wise Highways

Posted - Oct. 4, 2004 at 9:35 a.m.



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It is nice to see water-wise landscaping becoming a part of Utah’s interstate highway system!

For years, many communities tried to make their freeway interchanges look like parks. They planted trees and shrubbery and grasses that required significant upkeep, in addition to a lot of water to maintain.

The new trend, wisely, is toward landscaping more in keeping with Utah’s semi-arid climate. Rock, in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes, not water consuming plants, is the mainstay.

Local communities, we’re told, decide how to landscape the freeway gateways to their communities. They apply through the Utah Department of Transportation for federal funds to pay for the projects. And UDOT has been strongly encouraging communities to xeriscape by giving priority consideration to water efficient proposals.

In KSL’s view, such landscaping represents a responsible development in local highway planning. It’s attractive and it seems to compliment the natural beauty of Utah. Most importantly, though, it helps to “slow the flow,” which is vital in this desert climate.

KSL compliments UDOT for promoting the idea of making freeway landscaping more indigenous and water efficient. As well, we congratulate those communities along the Interstate that have chosen to go the water wise route.

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