New Jersey Opinion: AC Expressway is now where the wild things are

With billboards and traffic capturing your attention, wildlife habitat is likely one of the last things you might be thinking about while driving down the Atlantic City Expressway. However, the colorful wildflowers that you see on interchanges and expressway dividers provide such habitat. Until recently, the use of native plants was not at the forethought of roadside planning and maintenance.

The South Jersey Transportation Authority (SJTA) has been working closely with New Jersey Audubon to bring native flowering forbs,shrubs and grasses back to roadsides, expanding these travel corridors to include use by wildlife. The SJTA operates and maintains the 44-mile expressway. The authority began to incorporate native plants into the road’s routine landscaping two years ago. Since then, the SJTA’s mission to reinvigorate roadside open space has taken on a new life.