VDOT Pollinator Habitat Program


It’s been a while since I updated Ye Olde Bloge… because once the plates were available, there was not much to report.
Until now!

Beginning in July 2016, the Pollinator Plates will become Revenue-Sharing plates, contributing to pollinator habitats throughout the state! We will be supporting VDOT’s new Pollinator Habitat Program!

As luck would have it, just a couple of months after the plates had been signed into law by Governor McAuliffe, the most perfect partnership for the Pollinator Plates was presented to me. Nicole Hamilton of Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy had contacted VDOT to inquire about ceasing the mowing and spraying of existing milkweed in medians in an effort to help Monarch Butterflies. In addition to allowing existing Milkweed to grow in the medians, she had the idea to plant more Milkweed and plants for pollinators in these huge areas of land that are currently planted with fescue or taken over by invasive plants.

I was invited to the initial meeting to contribute some ideas for how the habitats could also help bees. After a few months of swapping ideas, the official Pollinator Habitat Program was born! This program will be a statewide effort to add pollinator habitat along highway medians (those that are wide enough), and create pollinator gardens at rest stops throughout the state, along with educational signage to tell travelers about the gardens and importance of pollinators. It seemed only fitting that the Pollinator Plates would be a fantastic way to help with this effort.

Even though the program isn’t quite in full swing yet, they couldn’t wait to get started! So last year, two rest stop plantings were completed. Here’s the press release for one of them:

The Pollinator Plate annual fee will increase from $10 to $25 starting in July, 2016. I have spoken to so many of you who are excited about this positive change, and I am delighted by your enthusiasm! There are some VA drivers who don’t have the plates but are actually waiting to until July to purchase them, specifically when the change is implemented so they can be sure to contribute to the program. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me.

This is such an incredible opportunity- the plates being on the road is a great way to raise awareness, but we now have action happening to help pollinators! It is the most fulfilling feeling in the world. I was just a single person devoted to a cause, hoping to raise awareness, and with so much support from you, we got these plates on the road. I truly hope all of you will be excited to know your plates are now helping the pollinators! ❤️

The new “Protect Pollinators” license plates are now available at the Virginia DMV!
You can order them here:

Or stop by your local DMV office and order them in person.

It’s been really fun and exciting to hear from everyone who has gotten their plates. Some are still on the way- as of today, I haven’t gotten mine yet (but my husband has!). Thanks for all the kind words and nice emails and pictures you all have sent! And thanks for hanging in there with me this whole time- for some of you, that meant FOUR YEARS. The last couple of weeks have been really exciting. (I also have to admit that it’s exciting to have the DMV handling everything at this point.)

Thanks everyone for your support, and enjoy your new plates!

I received the official metal proofs of the plate last week, which I will approve and send back to the DMV. It was so exciting to receive this in the mail and see it- for real!– on metal, actual colors, everything.

The colors look a little different than the original design- mainly the mountains. They’re a little bolder and a little greener, and that’s okay- it looks very environmental this way, plus I think they had to change it a little to make the numbers stand out, or possibly to not be confused with the other VA plate with mountains on it.

No matter the reason, it really does look great in person, and I like the green mountains even more than the blue, personally!

Their best guess is that we’ll start receiving the plates in February.

What!? February? WHAT WILL WE DO TIL THEN!?
I know, I know. That was sort of my reaction, too. Apparently the metal that these are printed on isn’t just sitting around in some warehouse waiting for awesome artwork to be printed on it (ha, ha). They make it on demand, which takes a while… and the holidays are coming, so coordinating all of the things with all of the parties involved gets complicated because of that. And, lastly, they have to actually go through all of the applications and personalize the personalized ones, etc. etc. Lots. Of. Work.

We’ve waited this long…. I hope when they arrive you’re as excited as I was when I received this one and that they will be worth the wait 🙂

Thanks for your patience!

Yesterday I was finally able to get a break from my other responsibilities and head down to Richmond with all of our applications. I’ll admit the excitement was twofold: The obvious reason of being one HUGE step closer to getting our plates, but also because those applications are out of my hands now and I no longer have to deal with them! 

After three and a half years, I can call that part DONE!

Now that the DMV has real actual proof that we have enough (more than enough- 480, to be exact) applications to fulfill the requirement, they can start working on the artwork. I don’t have a timeline for that, but that part of the process couldn’t start until they had the applications in hand.

Not much else to report right now, but I’m excited that things can officialy start moving along on their end!! 🙂