Native plants are those species that were growing here before humans brought in plants from distant places. Native plants provide food and shelter to support birds, insects, fish, and animals. They provided food and medicine for Native Americans and also supplied materials for shelter, ropes, clothing, and containers.
Invasive, non-native plants displace native plants and disrupt ecosystems. In Milwaukee we have many invasive, non-native plants, including buckthorn, Japanese honeysuckle, purple loosestrife, and garlic mustard. These plants are so aggressive that they crowd out native plants, reducing the habitat for insects, birds, fish, and mammals. As many as thirty different bugs, birds, and animals disappear when a single plant species is pushed out by an invasion of purple loosestrife. Invasive plants must be controlled or removed to protect habitat.
"Try to heal the earth by using native plants - plants that have already adjusted over hundreds, maybe even thousands of years, to the soil and climate of our region."
Our yards should be so interesting that when children get out of bed in the morning they run to the window to look out to see what's happening, and the last thing at night they stand there for a while, to see what's happening, at dusk." - Lorie Otto
Learn more, Do More...Plant native plants to provide habitat
and decrease the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
Volunteer for a "Weed-Out" with the Park People to help remove invasive species from our parks.
Milwaukee has been a national leader in promoting natural landscaping. Lorie Otto helped found Wild Ones (advocating native plants in natural landscapes) in 1977. Lorrie, a member of the Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame, has inspired many lively, environmentally sound, regionally appropriate natural landscapes, in Milwaukee and across the land.