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By Heidi Glaus

ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - Missouri is home to some absolutely beautiful places, some you might pass too quickly to even notice because along our interstates and highways prairie rehabs have taken root.

"A lot of times when we build a highway we disturb the land so we'll just put grass seed back there, but it's not as pretty as the native grasses that were there before we touched it," said Becky Allmeroth, district maintenance engineer for the St. Louis region of the Missouri Department of Transportation.

So several years ago they started introducing and reintroducing native grasses and wildflowers in certain spots.

"It really started with that Henry Shaw Ozark Corridor and they're desire to beautify that area," Allmeroth said.

These days there are dozens of medians marked with signs throughout the state. Plots of land, however, that are a bit misleading since they don't need to be mowed down.

"You would think that would be a big benefit to it, but some of those areas especially when we first introduce those native grasses actually take more maintenance up front than it would than just to mow it," Allmeroth said.

It eventually evens out because once established the areas require less work which kind of makes you wonder why we don't see more of them.

"It takes usually a good three to four year before we can get them fully established and the reason we haven't done more of those is because when ever it's in that establishment phase when we're trying to get them reintroduced it's really scraggly," Allmeroth said.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but there is one benefit we don't see.

"A lot of those native grasses actually root deeper than regular grass so anytime you see those native that are three or four feet tall there's three or four feet of roots that are underneath so it really helps us with erosion control," Allmeroth said.

So slow down and enjoy the scenery, you never know what you might be missing.

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