ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Homeowners can contribute significantly to making their neighborhoods and communities greener by planting native plants. To help them get started, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and the Partners for Native Landscaping are presenting the 2023 Spring Partners for Native Landscaping series in March and April. The series will consist of three separate parts.
The first component will be a series of online webinars from March 7-April 5 hosted by St. Louis County Library. The 10 free webinars will cover a wide range of native gardening topics, presented by acknowledged experts in the field. Each session is free; however, preregistration is required. For a complete list of sessions and to register, go to https://short.mdc.mo.gov/4gn. Participants will receive Zoom information via email immediately after registering. Programs will be recorded and available on the SLCL YouTube channel within three business days.
The next part of the series will be an in-person workshop and plant sale which takes place Saturday, April 15 from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center in Kirkwood. Presenters will include Scott Woodbury of the Whitmire Wildflower Garden at Shaw Nature Reserve, a three-member native gardening panel, and keynote speaker Dr. Nadia Navarrete-Tindall, Associate Professor and State Extension Specialist for the Specialty Crops Program at Lincoln University. Dr. Navarrete-Tindall’s talk is titled “Growing Native Edibles as Specialty Crops”. Missouri Native plants will also be available for sale.
The nature center is located at 11715 Cragwold Road, near the intersection of I-270 and I-44. There will be a $10 fee to attend workshop and preregistration is required at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/4gh.
The third component of the Spring Partners for Native Landscaping series is the Native Plant Fair Sunday, April 30 from 9 a.m.- 2 p.m. at the Beyond Housing Headquarters at 6506 Wright Way, 63121. The fair will feature a native plant sale, along with a team of experienced native plant gardeners to offer guidance and answer questions. Educational tables and tours of nearby rainscaping/bioretention installations will offer native gardeners more opportunity to grow their expertise. The Native Plant Fair is free, but participants should register in advance at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/43M.
The goal of the 2023 Spring Partners for Native Landscaping series is to inspire and help individuals create gardens that are not only beautiful but are also habitats for native wildlife.
The workshop series is made possible by MDC, Shaw Nature Reserve, St. Louis Audubon Society, St. Louis Community College, the St. Louis Chapter of Wild Ones, BiodiverseCity St. Louis, Metropolitan Sewer District’s Project Clear Stormwater, Grow Native!, the St. Louis County Library, and Beyond Housing.
Native plants have evolved in Missouri’s landscape. They are better acclimated to our climate conditions than exotic plants and resistant to local pests and diseases. This translates into less time, effort, and costs consumed by watering, fertilizing, and insecticide use.
Likewise, native Missouri wildlife has evolved to coexist and use native plants for cover, food, and habitat, so, increasing native plants also tends to increase desirable wildlife, like birds, butterflies, and pollinators.