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General Public, Homeowners, and Landscapers

Use Native Plants for Landscaping


When deciding on plants, use native species whenever you can.  These plants are suited to Oregon weather conditions and are more likely to survive than plants from other regions.  Healthy native plants require less water and provide valuable habitat for wildlife.  Check out native plant resources with watershed councils, OSU Extension or agencies like the Polk Soil and Water Conservation District.  There are also a number of nurseries in the Willamette Basin that specialize in native plants. 

Choose shrubs, trees, and ground covers in place of lawn whenever possible.  Lawn grass has a shallow root system, and don’t do a good job of removing pollutants from runoff.  In addition, they require a lot of maintenance, and chemicals to remain looking good.

Polk Soil and Water Conservation District: 

OSU Extension

Native Plant Society of Oregon:  NPSO - Home page (

Fertilizers & Pesticides

Don’t over-do application of fertilizers and pesticides. Remember to utilize them sparingly, and always follow label directions. More is not better! Look for environmentally friendly alternatives and local options.  More is not better when it comes to chemicals.

For more information on alternatives, see the resources at the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides NCAP: Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides

Water Quality: Text
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