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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - April 26, 2005

From: Cookeville, TN
Region: Southeast
Topic: General Botany, Wildflowers
Title: Native plant initiatives for universities in Southeast U.S.
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hello, I am an undergraduate student majoring in botany at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, TN. I am a native plant enthusiast and would like to promote n.p.'s on campus. Do you know of any other Universities in the Southeast that have implemented native plant initiatives for landscapes on their campuses, and in what ways such initiatives benefited the Universities? The President of my school is a businessman, and our budget is limited, so any monetary incentives to promote indigenous flora would probably be useful. Thanks.

ANSWER:

The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers a Natural Landscaping Tool Kit, called "Green Landscaping: Greenacres" which offers a series of annotated slides as well as a video and a handbook, "Landscaping with Native Plants", that can be downloaded as a PDF file. The EPA also publishes "A Source Book on Natural Landscaping for Public Officials" online that outlines the economic, environmental, and educational and recreational benefits of using natural vegetation.

The Openlands Project. a non-profit group that is involved in utilizing native plants in restoration and beautification projects, has information about benefits of natural landscaping and offers "Excerpts from the Sourcebook on Natural Landscaping for Local Officials" (available as a downloadable PDF file on their web page under "cost savings" on the "Benefits" page). This file gives examples of "Natural Landscaping Installations and Maintenance Costs".

On the Wildflower Center web page there are several articles in the Native Plant Library to download in PDF format that you might find useful; for instance, "Landscaping with Native Plants". Also, you can see some Success Stories for private gardens and public grounds, including universities, on the Wildflower Center web page.

 

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