Living Roadway Trust Fund


Roadside collage The concept of integrated roadside vegetation management (IRVM) has a long history in the state of Iowa. With its beginnings in the mid-1970s, Iowa was one of the first states to establish IRVM programs at the city, county, and state levels. The goal of IRVM is to provide an alternative to conventional roadside management practices, which were common before IRVM was adopted. These conventional practices, including the extensive use of mowing and herbicides, were often too costly to implement on a regular basis, were frequently ineffective, and contributed to an increased potential for surface water contamination.

Today, IRVM integrates the use of native and other select types of vegetation with appropriate management techniques to produce a cost-effective, environmentally sound management alternative for roadsides. To achieve Iowa's IRVM objectives, the state’s IRVM Plan is implemented along federal and state highways through the coordination of the Iowa Department of Transportation. Additionally, many counties and cities have adopted an IRVM plan for managing vegetation along their roadsides. Search the database of county and city IRVM contacts if you would like to know more about IRVM programs in your area.

To date, more than 50,000 acres of federal, state, county, and city roadsides in Iowa have been planted to native grasses, wildflowers, and other select types of vegetation. Many of these plantings have been funded by the LRTF, and all help to achieve the objectives of IRVM.


Roadside management – services and benefits
Integrated roadside vegetation management (IRVM) in Iowa uses native grasses and wildflowers of the original predominantly prairie landscape, which are well-adapted for use on roadsides. Hardy and beautiful, native roadsides offer aesthetic, economic, environmental, and educational opportunities.

Iowa roadside vegetation
Establishing prairie plants in roadside rights of way:
  • Provides low-maintenance weed and erosion control.
  • Reduces surface runoff and erosion by improving infiltration.
  • Reduces snow drifting and winter glare.
  • Ensures sustainability by increasing species diversity.
  • Enhances wildlife habitat.
  • Beautifies the landscape by providing ever changing color and texture throughout the year.
  • Preserves our natural heritage.
  • Provides filtering and capture of nutrients, pesticides, and sediment.


IRVM signs

Counties or cities making or sponsoring an LRTF application must have an approved IRVM plan on file with the LRTF Coordinator.

In order to be eligible to receive funding from the LRTF, counties and cities are required to submit a signed IRVM Plan to the LRTF coordinator in the DOT Roadside Development Office by 4 p.m., June 1 of a given year. This deadline aligns with the close of the annual grant application period. IRVM plans must contain information outlined in the IRVM Plan Requirements for Counties, State Agencies, and Cities over 10,000 in population. Cities with a population below 10,000 can file an IRVM Plan with the DOT using the IRVM Plan for Cities Under 10,000 Population form. Contact us with questions.

For reference, view the city and county IRVM plans on-file with the LRTF.


County IRVM Plans: K - Z

City IRVM Plans


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