MDC helps sponsor three-part Native Landscaping series February through April

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Saint Louis
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St. LOUIS, Mo.— Creating a better world for nature can start one backyard at a time.  To help homeowners get started with native plants, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is joining local conservation partners to sponsor the 2024 Spring Partners for Native Landscaping.  The series will run February through April and will consist of three separate portions. 

The first component will be a series of online webinars from now through March 20 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  Participants will receive Zoom information via email immediately after registering. Programs will be recorded and available on the St. Louis County Library (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, March 23 from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Maryland Heights Community Center, 2300 McKelvy Road.  Presenters will include keynote speaker Carol Davit of the Missouri Prairie Foundation.  Davit’s talk will be "Native Plant Nation: Cultivating an Ethic of Native Landscaping”.  A four-member native gardening panel will engage in a discussion on native landscaping advocacy, moderated by Jean Ponzi of the Missouri Botanical Garden’s EarthWays Center.  Missouri Native plants will also be available for sale.

There will be a $10 fee to attend the workshop and preregistration is required at

The third component of the SpringPartners for Native Landscaping series is the Native Plant Fair Sunday, April 28 from 10 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

The goal of the 2024 Spring Partners for Native Landscaping series is to inspire and help individuals create gardens that are not only beautiful but also provide habitats for native wildlife.

The workshop series is made possible by MDC, Shaw Nature Reserve, St. Louis Audubon Society’s Bring Conservation Home program, St. Louis Community College, the St. Louis Chapter of Wild Ones, BiodiverseCity St. Louis, Metropolitan Sewer District’s Project Clear, 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.