The City of Melissa was awarded a grant worth $1.75 million by the Texas Department of Transportation to build landscape and drainage along Highway 75 and State Highway 121 as part of a Green Ribbon Landscape Improvement Program through the state.

“This is the first time Melissa has received this grant,” City Manager Jason Little said.

Little said the money will go toward building signs along Highway 75 and planting landscape.

“You will start to see it along 75 north bound as you approach the Telephone Road overpass, but the main focus will be at the 121, 75 interchange,” he said.

Plants along the road will also help with pollination, Little explained. Bees and monarch butterflies will be able to pollinate the plants and use the highway as a stop on their migration route.

According to the TxDOT website, the Green Ribbon Landscape Improvement Program started in the Houston District but the department began giving out funds to cities in other districts as a way to expand the program.

Another part of the Melissa project will include putting a water tank at the SH 121, Highway 75 interchange that will capture rain water to irrigate the plants. The plants will help to filter water running off the roadway, Little said and ultimately when the water goes into the streams and lakes it will be cleaner.

The plan is also to plant enough flowers and vegetation that something will be in bloom each month of the year.

Construction on the project will begin during the summer or fall 2017 and should be completed by spring of 2018.