The next time you visit Branson’s City Hall, make sure to look at the flower beds just outside the main doors. The City of Branson has partnered with the Missouri Prairie Foundation (MPF) to design and install Missouri native plants in flower beds at City Hall, located at 110 W. Maddux St. and in front of the Branson Post Office, located at 320 S Commercial St. in order to help protect and restore prairie and other native grassland communities.
This partnership and was initiated by Planning and Development Planner, Amy Jackson, to encourage residents and guests to plant their own native garden. If you are one of the many people who think native landscaping looks weedy and un-kept, the City encourages you to stop by the plantings and see how natives can be arranged in a formal landscape.
“The whole idea is to build with nature, not against it,” said Jackson. “If we could simply start incorporating more native plants into our landscape designs and development, we can help preserve our natural plant community, lower watering needs, conserve water, increase variety for our pollinators and reduce stormwater runoff that leads to increased flooding issues,” Jackson continued.
These gardens are a part of MPF’s Grow Native! program which supports the identification and control of invasive plant species through its Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force
Missouri native plants have evolved with our climate and wildlife and therefore, aid in resisting invasive species that threaten our local fauna habitat and crops. Native landscaping also provides habitat to desirable insects and wildlife, filters stormwater and removes contaminants picked up from parking lots, yards and roads.
Here are some tips from the Missouri Department of Conservation on how to get started with your own native garden:
1. Know your yard: Sun and soil conditions.
2. Consider your purpose and property: Factor in utility conflicts and water access/availability.
3. Develop a plan: Think in layers and consider native trees and shrubs.
4. Choose material and methods: Right plant, right place at the right time.
5. Work in phases: Be patient. For larger areas, seeding may be a better option. Weed control!
Learn more about the benefits of using Missouri native plants and MPF’s Grow Native! program, here: https://www.moprairie.org/
Find a list and information on the native species used in these specific projects, on the City of Branson’s website, here: https://www.bransonmo.gov/784/MIssouri-Native-Plants