I admire those who can see something new in what most people overlook because it is so obvious. 

This happened with a coalition of environmentalists who saw potential in the unused median strip of Interstate 35. The road spans 1,500 miles from Minnesota to Texas, and, until now, was mostly barren grass designed to protect drivers from a head-on collision with someone heading in the opposite direction. But thanks to an agreement signed this week, the six states will deploy new seeding and different management practices in the median of the highway to provide a fertile mating area for honeybees and butterflies. 

The Interstate will be branded as the Monarch Highway to acknowledge the plan to boost the population of these valuable insects. The states expect to actually spend less money under the new system since the plantings will require less mowing and reduce erosion. It’s a win-win for everyone.

What is in your world that is an underutilized resource? Instead of repurposing content (as I wrote about earlier this week), is there something else that could take on a new life and serve double duty in a helpful way? Can you imagine a better use of something that has more potential than is being realized now?

Turning the median strip into an intentional breeding ground is but one example of how things can be seen through new eyes. Take a look around your organization, home or community and see what ideas buzz around your head for how to utilize something differently.

beth triplett

Source: I-35 plan should help bees, butterflies by David Pitt for the Associated Press in the Telegraph Herald, May 27, 2016, p. 11A

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