What is a ‘native’ plant?

Native plants are locally adapted to regional soil and climate conditions, making them an environmentally–friendly choice for the garden. They support many pollinators, including local butterflies, bees, birds, and more!

Benefits of Native Plants

Diversify & Support Food Supply
There are ~500 native bee species in Ohio. Worldwide, 75% of all food depends on pollinators.

Slow Soil Erosion & Improve Water Quality
Heavy rains erode soil and nutrients from stream and river banks. Stormwater runoff is one of the leading causes of nutrient loading in large
bodies of water, leading to events like algal blooms. Landscaping with native plants can greatly reduce the impact of storm water runoff. Native plants have extensive root systems that help stabilize and enrich a wide variety of soils. Their roots can grow up to 15 feet long compared to common turf grass root depth of 4 inches deep.

Maintain Balance in an Ecosystem
Once established, native plants require little to no maintenance because they have adapted to local soils and conditions. Native plants support pollinators and local wildlife by providing habitat and by enhancing the ecosystem.

Native Seed Nursery & Greenhouses of the Wood County Park District
The Native Seed Nursery, Greenhouses, and gardens are located at the J.C. Reuthinger Memorial Preserve. Raised beds of native plants are maintained for the purpose of collecting and propagating seeds. These beds help minimize the impact of collecting seeds from other natural areas and help provide educational opportunities for Wood County.

Native Plant Care
Know your garden’s soil conditions and light to choose the right plants. Without the need for extra water, fertilizers, or pesticides, native plants make an excellent cost-effective and environmentally-conscious selection for any landscape or garden. Once native plants are established, they require very little maintenance.

Volunteers are an essential part of the Native Plant Program. They help in the greenhouse in spring, seed collecting beds in summer, and with seed cleaning in autumn. Learn more about volunteering with us here.

Proud to Support Regional Ecosystems
The Wood County Park District is proud to partner with regional conservation organizations in the greater historical Black Swamp and Oak Openings Region. The Black Swamp Conservancy (blackswamp.org) and the The Green Ribbon Initiative (oakopenings.org) work to preserve, enhance, and restore critical natural areas in the Oak Openings Region. The Wood County Park District is proud to collaborate and work with other conservation and natural resource management partners in Wood County, Northwest Ohio, Oak Openings, and the Great Lakes Region.

Annual Native Plant Sale