One way to beautify Iowa’s roadways would be eliminating roadkill, and that’s one goal of the state’s On this Earth Day, a group calling itself One-Thousand Friends of Iowa is hailing the effort to preserve wildlife and natural habitat along the highways. 1000 friends of Iowa, a statewide grassroots organization with some 950 members, works for responsible development, urban sprawl and protecting farmland. Spokesman Ed Fallon is also a state lawmaker, and says Iowa’s being recognized for its “Living Roadway Trust Fund.” The fund helps pay for plantings that control erosion along highway edges and also create habitat that will entice small wildllife to stay where it is instead of dart across roadways. Transportation and natural-resources agencies share a part of their funding for the roadway trust fund, and Fallon says other innovative ideas include high deer fences and tunnels under the road to allow animals to cross without fatalities or danger to drivers. It’s expensive up front, he admits, but says it can avoid possible loss of life or high costs to drivers whose cars hit deer. Instead of the rather ghastly traveling game of “Roadside Bingo,” counting dead animals along the ditches, Fallon says it would be nice to encourage kids to see how many animals they can spot in roadside habitat designed to keep the animals off the pavement and alive.
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