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Mr. Smarty Plants - Resources on advisability of using native plants in landscaping

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Friday - February 13, 2004

From: Georgetown, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources
Title: Resources on advisability of using native plants in landscaping
Answered by: Stephen Brueggerhoff

QUESTION:

I'm a member of the Williamson County NPSOT. It came to our attention recently that the city of Georgetown is considering trying to be "friendlier" to native and natural landscaping. At this point they're not really planning to rewrite the ordinance, but say they are open-minded and willing to learn. We're putting together a list of reasons to use natives, and sound, rational arguments against the objections to natives and natural landscapes. Is there any information, sources, studies, etc., that you can provide?

ANSWER:

The EPA provides a guide book on natural landscaping from their website, at www.epa.gov/greenacres/toolkit/index.html. This guidebook was prepared by the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission (NIPC) for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5. The intended audience is local officials, land owners, and citizens in the greater northeastern Illinois region. It might assist you with background for national acknowledgement and support. Also, try Wild Ones, Ltd, a midwest non-profit promoting naturalistic landscaping in urban areas, at www.for-wild.org/. Try the links to "weed laws", a topic most often involved in development of landscaping ordinances. I think that a new acronym and view/philosophy can change the focus from "native plants as weeds" to discussing the incorporation of naturalistic landscaping in urban areas as a biologically positive aspect of human interaction with nature.
 

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