Southern Missouri landscapes featured in new native gardens of excellence program

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The inaugural sites in the new Grow Native! Native Gardens of Excellence program showcase  numerous native landscaping styles in the lower Midwest, including in Springfield, Joplin, Winona and Missouri.

Twin Pines Conservation Education Center in Winona.

All sites in this program share two attributes: each has been carefully planned and is regularly maintained.

Both of these attributes are fundamental to ensure the long-term functioning and appearance of any native planting.

The three goals of this program are to inspire and motivate the use of native plants in plantings—both formal and informal; to educate about their many benefits—ecological function, beauty, and contribution to sense of well-being; and to promote  widespread use of native landscaping for aesthetic appeal and environmental benefits. 

Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center in Joplin.

All Grow Native. Native Gardens of Excellence sites are open to the public — many are free; some charge an admission fee — consist of at least 90% native plants, excluding cultivars  and nativars, and are at least three years old with an established maintenance schedule. 

The Grow Native! program assists homeowners, native plant enthusiasts, land man agers, gardening groups and landscape professionals to visit the sites included in this program in person and to learn more about their maintenance from their caretakers.

Contact information is included for each site at the Native Gardens of Excellence web page, which also contains a link to a Native Gardens of Excellence nomination form: https://grownative.org/learn/gardens-of-excellence.

Grow Native! is the 21-year-old native plant marketing and education program of the Missouri  Prairie Foundation, a 55-year-old prairie conservation organization and nationally accredited  land trust. To learn more, visit www.moprairie.org or www.grownative.org, or call  888-843-6739.

Government Plaza Carrier Lab in Springfield