Native Vs. Non-native Plant Landscaping

THE GRIMES SHACK thegrimesshack at aol.com
Thu Nov 11 00:46:40 EST 1999


Dear Dan,

I am answering your post in the hope that you might avoid some of the problems
we have run into here where I live when tackling a project:

I live in a town where there are many, like me, that are very community
involved. We volunteer at the local schools for gardeen makeovers.  We have
garden parties afterwards with the students. I know a woman who dedicates two
afternoons a week to teaching the afterschool clubs and spends the rest of the
week starting cuttings. 

Our small downtown has recently undergone revitalization with city tax dollars,
and a fair portion of that was for landscaping.  Generally, the city engineer
gets to decide which plants are the finest in the land!

>and we are looking at the schools
>decision to use non-native landscaping

When/why/by whom was the decision made?  Find this out fast!  It's likely they
are willing to make changes for a group of students interested in planning, and
will really welcome anyone interested in maintaining!  

Find out all the trustees and directors favorite plants and include plenty in
your plans/presentations.

Since you are speaking of an educational facility here, remember to include a
significant % of available land for pure educational purposes, especially if
there is an agricultural sciences program.  

See how much you can find out about existing trees and shrubs.  I remember a
project where we were removing an old ugly peach tree and found out it was a
'groundbreaking' tree planted by a historical founder.  I can imagine you might
have one or two badly pruned Evergeens there at Evergreen State that could come
out, but be careful!

Look into 'theme' gardens representing the student body itself.  For example,
the % of native plants represent the percent of Native Americans in the school,
etc. 

Good Luck!

Sincerely, 
T. Grimes






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