Learning to landscape with native plants in Wisconsin is facilitated by a wide range of nonprofit- and government-supported information websites. Native plants restore the environment, attract wildlife and lessen overall garden chores. Examining some of the resources available to Wisconsin gardeners suggests avenues of inquiry that can be pursued in other states as well.
Contact nonprofit environmental education resources for information on Wisconsin native plants and landscaping. A major Wisconsin nonprofit, Wild Ones, offers landscaping and plant conferences, school-habitat lesson plans and project grants, and membership chapters with volunteer opportunities throughout much of the state. Combining hands-on experiences with community advocacy, Wild Ones offers many resources to gardeners interested in native-plant landscaping.
Search the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website for lists of native-plant and native-landscaping companies. The department cautions against viewing these commercial listings as endorsement by DNR. The list still provides avenues of inquiry for gardeners' specific questions and needs.
Consult the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for further Wisconsin resources. These include sources for native seeds and university-sponsored arboreteums, along with nature centers and nurseries. Space is also devoted to defining the variety of habitats characteristic to Wisconsin. The nursery list dates from 1991; the EPA refers viewers to its more general EPA/greenacres listing.
Obtain more regionally specific guidance from County Extension offices. This USDA program, administered throughout the country by land-grant universities, offers free information to local residents on many USDA programs, including gardening and landscaping. A complete list of Wisconsin County Extension offices can be found at www.uwex.edu/ces/cty/.