Native Plant How To Articles


An Ordinance to promote the use of native vegetation, including native grasses, in planned landscapes and to allow the use of such plants in the preservation or restoration of natural plant communities.

The people of ________________________________, represented in assembly and senate, do enact as follows:

Section 1. Legislative Purpose

The use of wildflowers and other native plants in managed landscape design can be economical, low-maintenance, effective in soil and water conservation, and may preclude the excessive use of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. Furthermore, native vegetation and native plant communities, on a worldwide basis, are disappearing at an alarmingly rapid rate. The legislature recognizes the desirability of permitting and encouraging the managed preservation and restoration of natural plant communities in urban, suburban, and rural areas while maintaining public health and safety. It is not the intent of this legislation to allow vegetated areas to be unmanaged or overgrown when such growth provides demonstrated health hazards or prevents detection of accumulated trash and refuse that constitutes either a direct health hazard or provides a breeding ground for fauna know to create a safety or health hazard.

The legislature recognizes that a limited number of species may be serious agricultural pests or may adversely affect human health or safety. In such instances, the legislature has provided a remedy by specifically defining plants recognized to be a threat to the agricultural economy and/or human health and safety.

Section 2. Natural Landscaping Defined And Protected

As used in this section:

(1) Preservation means to keep intact desirable components of the existing vegetation at a building or construction site.

(2) Restoration means to replant a building or construction site with vegetation native to the region, including grasses, forbs, shrubs and trees.

(3) The following plant species are defined as noxious weeds: (This list should be made appropriate for the area and should be minimally restrictive. The state list of noxious weeds may be helpful.)

e.g. for Texas:

It shall be lawful to grow native plants, including ferns, grasses, forbs, shrubs and trees, in a managed landscape design when said plants were obtained not in violation of local, state or federal laws. No commissioner or other agent of the (town, city, village, county etc.) may undertake to damage, remove, burn, or cut vegetation on a preservation or restoration project or in any other landscape incorporating native plants, except those specifically prohibited herein, and except on order of a court of record following a hearing at which it is established (1) that noxious weeds specifically named in the weed ordinance exist in such preservation or restoration projects and that a condition creating a clear and present hazard to public health or safety has arisen or (2) that the project is a threat to the agricultural economy. An action for a court order under this subsection shall be maintained as an action to enjoin a public nuisance. A court order under this subsection shall provide that the destruction, cutting or removal of vegetation shall be selective unless general cutting, destruction, or removal is necessary to eliminate the offending condition.

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