Online Tool Available to Select Native Plants for Your Neighborhood

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The Institute for Regional Conservation (IRC) has developed “Natives For Your Neighborhood,” a free online tool for residents of South Florida to utilize in creating and planning native landscaping. Native landscaping can be as simple as planting a single plant or recreating entire habitats using species naturally and historically occurring in your area. According to IRC’s Chief Conservation Strategist, George Gann, “Native species are adapted to the precise climate, soils and other growing conditions unique to a given area. The benefits to the homeowner include saving money by using fewer pesticides and fertilizers and conserving water. Native plants require less maintenance, increase wildlife viewing and are more resilient to hurricanes.” Native landscaping benefits the greater South Florida ecosystem by providing food and shelter for birds and butterflies, and a habitat for migratory birds. In the face of rising sea levels and climate change, it also increases migration success of wildlife while reducing demands on natural resources. To get started, visit www.regionalconservation.org/beta/nfyn. Enter your zip code for a list of plants and habitats. Once you read about the different plants and habitats, you can determine what is appropriate for your planting. Then find a native nursery or native landscaper and get to work. If you own a native nursery or landscaping business and would like your company featured on Natives For Your Neighborhood, contact Cara Abbott at abbott@regionalconservation.org for sponsorship opportunities. The Institute for Regional Conservation (IRC) is dedicated to the protection, restoration, and long-term management of biodiversity on a regional basis, and to the prevention of regional extinctions of rare plants, animals and ecosystems. Based in Florida, IRC works on conservation research and action throughout South Florida, the Caribbean and beyond. For more information visit www.regionalconservation.org.