Wisconsinites Embrace Native Landscaping

The growing interest in native landscaping among Wisconsinites has sparked a surge in options for purchasing low maintenance, drought-tolerant, and beneficial plants. According to Amy Staffen, Conservation Biologist at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the enthusiasm for native plants has led to significant developments in the availability of these essential green elements.

“Nine new native plant nurseries have been added to the list maintained by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources since 2021. The number of native plant sales offered by nonprofits has doubled in a few short years,” remarked Staffen. She maintains the DNR’s list of Wisconsin Native Plant Nurseries as well as other resources on the DNR’s Plant Native Plants to Help Nature web page.

Staffen attributes this surge in interest to a growing awareness of the importance of supporting pollinators and wildlife. “People are really getting the message that pollinators need our help, and birds too,” she stated. “With a multitude of benefits associated with native plants, including providing crucial food sources and habitats for wildlife, Wisconsinites are increasingly embracing native landscaping as a way to connect with nature and contribute to biodiversity conservation efforts.”.

Encouraging those new to native landscaping, Staffen highlights the wealth of learning opportunities available, both online and in-person. “Definitely take advantage of opportunities to learn from and network with experienced gardeners and instructors by attending local classes and native plant sales,” she advised.

She suggests considering plants such as milkweed, bee balm, and columbine, which are known to attract pollinators and provide essential resources throughout the seasons.