The Wild Ones Native Garden Designs Program is an initiative that encourages the use of native plants in landscaping by providing garden designs for a variety of ecoregions across the U.S.
Planting and maintaining these beautiful, nature friendly, native gardens, which provide habitats that support local pollinators, is generally achievable for people of all skill levels and budgets.
“It’s crucial that we re-examine our approach to stewarding the spaces we own (our yards), as well as the public spaces in our communities. We need to adopt landscaping methods that are sustainable and promote the health and wellbeing of all forms of life,” said Wild Ones Executive Director Jen Ainsworth.
Local designs were created for the Grand Rapids region by Rebecca Marquardt and Amy Heilman.
Rebecca Marquardt is the owner of Revery, a landscape architecture design studio with an ecological restoration influence. As a licensed landscape architect who works with native plants and urban environments, she is developing a narrative and design for residential and commercial sites that addresses some important topics. Among them are water quality, soil health, pollination services, habitat regeneration and climate regulation. Marquardt also stresses the importance of water filtration systems created by the plants, while also carefully considering the human experience within landscapes.
Heilman is a certified landscape designer who has been planning and implementing sustainable gardens for more than 20 years. Her business, The Living Garden, refers to the ecological life that can be brought to any garden space with the presence of appropriate native plant species. Heilman has worked in various areas of natural resource management, landscape restoration and native plant nursery operations.
In addition to providing vital support to bees and other pollinating species, native plants provide food and habitat for wildlife, reduce erosion and mitigate flooding, all while conserving and purifying water and repairing soil. In short, native plants do a world of good to the surrounding environment.
The designs can be downloaded from the Wild Ones website.
For more information, visit: nativegardendesigns.wildones.org.