Plant native plants to help nature
Native plants support the entire food web by providing food for insects, birds, bats, small mammals and other wildlife. This is particularly important now that scientists are documenting global declines in insect populations. Used in a rain garden, native plants help minimize flooding and filter out pollutants. The variety of colors, shapes and sizes adds beauty to any property. Get started with the resources below.
- Native plants for beginners
- Plant for monarchs
- Plants for birds
- Step-by-Step Native Landscaping Guide
- DNR's Native Plant Recommendations for Landscaping [PDF]
- Rain Gardens: A Guide for Homeowners and Landscapers
- Wild Ones native garden designs
Buy native plants
Native Plant Sales
- Friends of Horicon Marsh “Wildflowers for Wildlife” online native plant sale (Mayville) – Pre-orders due by March 31.
- Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District Rain Garden Plant Sale - Pre-orders due by March 31st
- Wild Ones Root River Chapter annual native plant sale (Mt. Pleasant) – Pre-orders due by April 2.
- Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory online native plant sale (Port Washington) – Pre-order will close April 5.
- Friends of the Monarch Trail/Park People of Milwaukee online native plant sale (West Allis) – Pre-orders due April 20.
- Pewaukee River Partnership online native plant sale - Pre-order ends April 22.
- Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory native tree giveway (Port Washington) – April 22.
- Friends of Wehr Nature Center online native plant sale (Franklin) - Pre-orders due by April 27.
- Friends of Lac Lawrann in-person native plant sale (West Bend) – May 13.
- Friends of the Monarch Trail/Park People of Milwaukee in-person native plant sale (West Allis) – May 13-14.
- Friends of Horicon Marsh “Wildflowers for Wildlife” in-person native plant sale (Mayville) – May 20.
- Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory in-person native plant sale (Port Washington) – May 20.
- UW Arboretum Native Plant Sale in the Tent - May 20, 10 a.m. or until plants sell out
- Schlitz Audubon Nature Center online native plant sale (Milwaukee) – Pre-orders June 2-8.
- Friends of Wehr Nature Center in person native plant sale (Franklin) - June 3-4.
- Schlitz Audubon Nature Center in-person native plant sale (Milwaukee) – June 10
Native Landscaping Webinars
- Wild Ones Menomonee River Area – See their monthly events calendar
- The Ohio State University's Tending Nature Series – This 6-session webinar series focused on the ecological roles of native plants and some of the creatures that depend on them.
- Wild Ones Native Plant webinars
Garden Tour Videos
Take a garden tour with DNR conservation biologist Amy Staffen as she showcases her native plants and provides a few tips and tricks for maximizing your yard for Wisconsin wildlife.
For broader-scale projects, please see the resources below to help with your project.
- Prairie Primer
- Plant Species Composition of Wisconsin Prairies: An Aid to Selecting Species for Plantings and Restorations
- Restoration contractors
- Xerces’ Pollinator Meadow Installation Guide and Checklist [exit DNR]
- Tallgrass Restoration Handbook
Interested in more help with creating habitat for animals? Try these other resources.
- Birding and bird conservation
- DNR's native pollinator page
- The Field Museum’s Urban Monarch Conservation [exit DNR]
- Xerces' Pollinator Plants Great Lakes Guide
- Wisconsin School Garden Initiative
- Wild Ones - Membership organization with chapters throughout Wisconsin, promotes landscaping with native plants.