MDC offers free native plant workshops in KC area

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Kansas City
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Kansas City, Mo. – Native plants provide food, flowers and variety when used in landscaping plans for homes and businesses. They’re also a boost for wild birds and butterflies. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will offer free programs this spring in the Kansas City area to help people connect with what some gardening experts call “naturescaping.”

MDC’s Burr Oak Woods will host a Naturescaping Workshop and Native Plant Sale on Saturday, March 19, at 1401 N.W. Park Road in Blue Springs. The workshop will be from 8 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. A native plant sale will follow for workshop participants until 1:15 p.m. The native plant sale will be open to the general public from 1:15 to 3:45 p.m.

Native grasses, wildflowers, shrubs and trees can provide variety and beauty in lawn and garden plantings. Little bluestem grass and purple coneflowers are examples that adapt well to garden beds. Natives are adapted to our local soils and climate, and once established, they can be more hardy and maintenance free than many non-natives. Using plants with Missouri prairie or forest origins also helps avoid the spread of non-native invasive species, such as Bradford pear.

In the workshop at Burr Oak Woods, participants will learn what species work well in home plantings, which ones benefit pollinators such as butterflies, and how to pick natives adapted to shade and soil conditions. Sessions will also touch on wild edibles and treescaping.

For more information or to register, call 816-228-3766 or visit

MDC’s Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center will offer free grass, wildflower and tree seedlings at a Go Native event 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 16, at 4750 Troost Ave. in Kansas City. This sustainable landscaping event is free and no registration is required.

Visitors will learn how replacing non-native species with native varieties can save time, money and labor over many seasons. A wide variety of natives are available to fit niches and lawns and gardens. The Discovery Center’s outdoor garden will also have early spring wildflowers blooming and grasses sprouting to show how natives fit into urban landscape use.

Also, the Missouri Prairie Foundation will be at the Center to offer native plants for sale. A percentage from plant sales will benefit prairie conservation in Missouri.

For more information, call 816-759-7300 or visit