Sunday, January 13, 2008

Going Native

If you live in Ramsey or Hennepin counties and you want your yard to be in sync with your environmental values, you can get involved with their native restoration programs. As the Minnesota DNR points out, native plants can "provide natural beauty, cost-effective landscaping alternatives, environmental services, and habitat for wildlife." The Ramsey County Conservation District's NATURE program (Native plant Alternative Toward Urban Restoration & Environment) will provide free technical assistance for restoration projects and up to 50% of eligible materials cost (with a maximum of $1000.00). In Hennepin County, the Natural Resources Incentives for Critical Habitat (NRICH) also provides technical and financial assistance to property owners to carry out various greening activities.Other great local resources include:
  • Metro Blooms, a nonprofit educational and membership organization of gardeners and community volunteers who are dedicated to ecologically friendly gardening education and the celebration of home gardeners, landscapers, community gardeners and business gardeners in the metropolitan Twin Cities.
  • The Minnesota DNR's webpage on landscaping with native plants and directory of places to buy native plants.
As your thoughts turn to spring and planting, consider going native!

Images: Winners from Metroblooms "2006 Blooms Top Garden Awards."

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