Why Native Plants?
Native plants are integral to soil health, pollinator and wildlife habitat, erosion prevention, biodiversity, and nutrient runoff reduction. The virtues of native plants are becoming increasingly understood and utilized in a variety of applications in agriculture, rural development, and urban development. We think they are beautiful both physically and functionally.
Why Purchase Watershed Natives?
Choosing to purchase Watershed Natives supports watershed health and the students at Hillcrest High School. In an exciting partnership with Springfield Public Schools (SPS), the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks has helped develop a 3-year “college and career pathway” program at Hillcrest. SPS describes the pathway this way: “The Environmental and Natural Resource Management Pathway teaches students how to properly manage land, water, soil, plants, and animals. These classes have a focus on how management affects the quality of life for both present and future generations.” Learning about native plants and helping produce them will be a core element of this experience. The Pathway program will also provide industry recognized credential opportunities, and readiness for a variety of college and/or career opportunities such as agriculture, environmental restoration, the sciences, and more.
How did Watershed Natives Begin?
There are some amazing native plant growers in Missouri, and in particular, we want to thank Missouri Wildflower Nursery and Forest Keeling for helping set us up for success. We recognize that a rising tide floats all boats, and we need to increase partnerships and production locally and statewide to keep pace with demand. We intend to build Watershed Natives into a financially sustainable program through plant sales, but the investment of the Darr Family Foundation and Community Foundation of the Ozarks have provided the start-up capital to begin. We are excited about the future of this program and grateful to those mentioned here for helping us get started.