A 1999 vision seeded by two Missouri women sprouted, the next year, as a tax-supported program from our state's Department of Conservation. Flourishing today in a non-profit's fertile soil, Grow Native! stands like a swath of Big Bluestem and Blazing Star as one of the strongest native plant programs around.
Carol Davit, Executive Director of the Missouri Prairie Foundation, tells how a diversity of forces grew success. Like the many "weeds" native to this idea, Grow Native! spread to include plant growers, seed producers, home and professional gardeners, and garden centers, statewide. Now housed within MPF, Grow Native! continues expanding beyond a tax-supported agency's state lines, cultivating ecological landscapes in Kansas, Iowa and Illinois.
Perhaps unique in the U.S., the Grow Native! inclusion of public education, professional development, and lively marketing covers the critical human roles so the plants and habitats they create can speak for themselves. Native plants will grow on you!
Check out Carol Davit's pean to prairies, for TEDx Gateway Arch.
THANKS to Andy Heaslet, Jon Valley and Andy Coco, Earthworms mighty cohort of audio engineers.
Related Earthworms Conversations:
Nature's Best Hope? Ecologist Doug Tallamy says WE ARE (Feb 2020)
Lawn Alternatives with Neil DeBoll of Prairie Nursery (Aug 2017)
Natives Raising Natives: Inspiration from Butterflies and People (May 2017)