Oakland County Board Promotes Use of Native Plants in Home Gardens

The Oakland County Board of Commissioners, along with Oakland County Parks and Recreation (OCPR), recently passed out more than 90 native plant kits to residents looking to expand their home gardens with native plants. Although the curbside distribution event has passed, those interested in preventing invasive species can still do so with plants indigenous to the region.

“We want is to empower Oakland County residents to do their part to keep our local environments thriving,” Commissioner Kristen Nelson (D-Waterford) said about the event. “The use of native plants is one of the easiest ways homeowners can have a positive impact on the local pollinator populations, and I am excited about the impact this project will have on our community in growing understanding of the importance of sustainable landscaping.”

Native plants have many ecological benefits. They provide wildlife habitat, stabilize the soil, decrease stormwater runoff and sequester carbon. Because they are well adapted to the Midwest, native plants require less maintenance over time. They do not require the fertilizers, water, and care that non-native plants require as they establish themselves and begin to produce new growth.

Many non-native plants used in landscaping have become invasive and can reduce the biodiversity of an area. By using native plants, you are likely to increase the diversity of the area and re-establish territory for the plants and animals that once thrived here.

There are a number of plants native to Oakland County and Michigan, but the Board and OCPR followed the recommendations of experts when putting together the kits for the event. For locations that receive full sun, the following plants are recommended:

For locations that receive a good amount of rain, try the following:

The Board founded the Native Plants Initiative earlier this year after a recommendation by the Special Committee on Invasive Species Prevention. Nelson serves as chair of the committee, which also includes Commissioners Gwen Markham (D-Novi) and Tom Kuhn (R-Troy). The initiative was established to teach residents about the importance and benefits of native plants to our ecosystem and increase the number of native plants throughout the county.

For more information about the Board of Commissioners, follow them on Facebook or visit www.oakgov.com/boc or call 248- 858-0100.

Follow along with Oakland County on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube using #OaklandCounty, or visit our website for news and events year-round.

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