KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Native plants bring sustainable beauty to lawns and gardens, and they benefit butterflies and birds. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is offering several free workshops on how to choose, utilize, and maintain native wildflowers, grasses, and shrubs in landscape layouts for homes or businesses. Some of the sessions will also include a chance to obtain native plant seedlings for replanting.native flowers

  • The Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center will host a workshop on how native plants can be used in rain gardens 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 6. No registration is necessary for the free session at the center, 4750 Troost Ave., in Kansas City. Rain gardens are a way to help manage storm water to benefit water quality and eliminate problems in low lying areas. The session will teach designs, benefits, and what water-tolerant plants work well in rain gardens.
  • MDC’s Burr Oak Woods Nature Center will host a naturescaping workshop and native plant sale on Saturday, March 17, at 1401 N.W. Park Road in Blue Springs. The naturescaping workshop from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. will provide tips on how to save time and money using native plants to beautify lawns and gardens. Some strategies can also benefit wildlife if that is a goal. Registration is required for this program for adults. A native plant sale will be offered by Missouri Wildflowers Nursery from 1 to 4 p.m.
  • Discovery Center will offer a workshop on native landscape maintenance 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 20. The workshop will explain how native landscape plantings change over time, when to trim, good designs, and various dos and don’ts for maintaining a native garden. No registration is required in this program for adults.
  • Burr Oak Woods will offer a workshop on utilizing native plants, shrubs, and trees to attract butterflies 2 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 24. Registration is required. This program for families will provide tips on native plants that work well in landscape designs and serve butterflies in their larval and adult stages. Each family will take home a native wildflower plant and a seed packet. Registration is required.
  • The Missouri Prairie Foundation will offer a native plant sale 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 3, at the Discovery Center. Area students will also present artwork depicting nature in their neighborhood 5:30 to 8 p.m.
  • To view spring wildflowers in bloom, and to see ways they can be used in landscaping, visit the Discovery Center 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 7. The wildflower weekend program is for all ages on a walk-in basis, no registration is required.  The Discovery Center maintains a varied native plant garden. The event will also include tips on good places to go in the Kansas City area to see wildflower displays.
  • Native plant expert Claudia West will talk about bringing wildness and ecological values back to cities by using native plants in a walk-in program for all ages 7 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 18, at the Discovery Center. West is a leading voice in the emerging field of ecological planting design. She co-authored a critically acclaimed book, Planting in a Post-Wild World. The approach weds horticulture with ecology. This program is presented in collaboration with Powell Gardens, Western Nursery and Landscape Association, and the Kansas City Native Plant Initiative.
  • MDC’s Discovery Center will host a native plant workshop and a native plant sale 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 21. Visitors to the all-ages program will make a seed ball with native plant seeds. Free tree seedlings will be available. Guided tours of the center’s native plant garden will be offered along with tips on how to use wildflowers in landscaping. There will also be activities for children. The Missouri Prairie Foundation and Missouri Wildflowers Nursery will offer native plants for sale. If you wish to preorder your choices for pickup at the sale, contact Missouri Wildflowers Nursery: 573-496-3492 or email: [email protected] by April 18. A percentage of proceeds from plant sales will benefit prairie conservation in Missouri.

   For more information about programs at the Gorman Discovery Center, call 816-759-7300 or visit http://mdc.mo.gov/discoverycenter.

   To register for a program at Burr Oak Woods or for more information, call 816-228-3766 or visit http://mdc.mo.gov/burroakwoods.