Native Plant Demonstration Gardens

Native Plant Demonstration Gardens

Native plants were used to revegetate a large percentage of the ground disturbed to construct the Seminar II buildings at The Evergreen State College campus. Native plants are integrated into most of the other teaching gardens, mingled with the non-natives.

The Problem:

Common Negative Impacts of Mainstream Gardening practices include wasting water, the introduction poisonous chemicals into the environment, and unleashing invasive exotic weeds. During the summer in Thurston County, when our municipal supplies are most depleted, 40-50% of water use currently goes to lawns and gardens. In western Washington, twenty-three different pesticides were found during a 1990s water quality assessment of urban streams. Hundreds of thousands of acres of public land in the Pacific Northwest is degraded by invasive plant infestations – many of these species were introduced as garden ornamentals (Source of statistics and more information: Thurston County Local Hazardous Waste Program’s The Common Sense Gardening Guide to Natural Lawn Care).

An Easy Solution:

Gardens planted with appropriately selected native species require little or no supplemental water, fertilizer or pesticides. Since they originated in our climate, native plants require little input; therefore they are inexpensive and require minimal maintenance. Native plantings are beautiful, provide food and shelter for animals in urbanizing areas, and attract beneficial insects. Cultivation of uncommon natives preserves the biodiversity of our bioregion.

Additional Resources:

Link, Landscaping for Wildlife

Link, The Native Plant Salvage Project

Hitchcock and Cronquist, Flora of the Pacific Northwest

Kruckeberg, Gardening with Native Plants in the Pacific Northwest