What is Native Landscapes?
Native Landscapes is a native plant nursery and landscaping initiative based out of the Biology Department at Calvin. It acts as an implementation arm for the Plaster Creek Stewards group, providing plant materials for restoration projects in the Plaster Creek Watershed.
We also provide plants, consulting, site design, installation, and maintenance for other restoration and green landscaping projects throughout the community. When we take on projects outside the Plaster Creek Watershed, any profits are used to fund the work of the Plaster Creek Stewards.
Plants for Plaster Creek
Native plants are essential to a healthy watershed--they're indispensable for rain gardens, stream bank stabilization projects, and buffer strips. Read more here.
Why native plants?
Native plants grow here naturally, and were present before European settlement. They are adapted to our soils and climate, so they need no water after they're established and require no fertilizer. They're essential as habitat and food for birds and insects.
Research and Education
Many of our projects and installations are part of ongoing research on ecological restoration in urban areas. We are amassing a dataset of how each species fares over time, and which site conditions are important for determining species' survival.
Our projects also provide educational and service-learning opportunities for students and community members. During the 2011 season, we worked with students from three different courses at Calvin, five schools in the community, and volunteers from a half dozen other community groups. Each group learned about native plants, worked in the greenhouse, and/or installed a rain garden or other restoration project.
See photos from some of our projects here.