Hundreds of years ago, “native” plants covered Minnesota's prairies. Native plants are grasses, foliage, and trees that are indigenous to our region, and evolved to support our ecosystems. Native plants differ from non-natives because of their complex relationship with other local organisms, acting as critical components in maintaining nature’s delicate ecological balance. Non-native plants do not perform the ecological services that native plants do so well. Native plants help clean water with their deep root systems that anchor soil and act as filters, collecting dirty run-off and separating out pollutants while absorbing water and decreasing flooding. Native plants also provide pollen, nectar, and housing materials to the bees, butterflies and other animals that are responsible for pollinating 1/3 of the food we eat.
What are the benefits of native plants?
Native plants' long roots find their own water, decrease soil compaction, absorb water, and filter out pollutants
Native plants are as maintenance free as plants can be – no mowing, fertilizer nor pesticides
They cost less in the long run – no fertilizers, pesticides, mowing necessary
The pledge to plant campaign has ended, but we still welcome news of new native plant efforts. Reach out and let us know if you have a native plant garden!
Pledge to Plant for Pollinators and Clean Water!
Planting native plants attract pollinators like birds, bees, and butterflies. In addition to providing food and habitat, planting deep-rooted native plants improves the quality of local lakes and rivers by allowing more rain water to infiltrate into the ground, causing less runoff. The average turf grass can only infiltrate 1/4" of rain water, so all rainfall in excess of 1/4" becomes runoff from residential and commercial lawns, carrying with it soils and debris right to your nearest lake or stream. Managed landscapes on public and private properties, including raingardens, stormwater ponds, shoreline plantings, and native gardens, provide the opportunity for increasing diversity through blooming native patches that connect pollinator corridors while helping to keep water clean by capturing and filtering runoff.