New photo and new caption will go here.


New Jersey – Native Plants only allowed in landscaping State Roadways

    • In May 2017 New Jersey adopted a bill that requires the Department of Transportation and other authorities to only use native plants to landscape roadways. An environmental group, Save Barnegat Bay was inspired to write the new bill after Hurricane Sandy damaged State Route 35 in Bay Head, New Jersey. Route 35 was replanted with a species of salt-tolerant trees sourced from Asia. But the seedlings had to be sprinkled by watering trucks twice a week, and they eventually died. “It was like watching taxpayer money being thrown away, and it didn’t make environmental sense either,” Save Barnegat Bay President Wenzel says. When the town proposed a new landscaping plan in 2014, Save Barnegat Bay decided to chime in. They hired a licensed architect and native-plants expert to draw up a detailed report of the vegetation along the route, highlighting which species would be better suited and more beneficial for the project. It was this clearly presented scorecardthat won local politicians over. “We needed to simply tell them what the problem was,” Save Barnegat Bay’s Wenzel says. They were in awe of how inferior some of the oft-used exotic plants were compared to natives, she adds. “It was powerful.”
    • Save Barnegat Bay also credits the Native Plant Society of New Jerseysaying : “Most of the credit for passing this bill should go to the thousands of volunteers throughout New Jersey who have promoted the use of native plants at fairs and festivals for the last thirty years, including the Native Plant Society of New Jersey. When we brought this bill before the legislative committees, they already knew what native plants are. That is thanks to a generation of selfless volunteer workers.”
      1. A story from Audubon presents a good summary of the process that helped pass this bill.
      2. Read a press releaseabout the rationale behind and development of the law.
      3. Read the sponsors statementabout the New Jersey law
      4. Read the text of the NJ law

Florida –


        1. On October 9, 2018 the Pennsylvania Township of West Norriton adopted the latest local ordinancein support of the use of native plants in all Township landscaping.
          1. West Norriton joins several other municipalities (at least three in Pennsylvania alone!) – and the state of New Jersey – in enacting requirements to encourage use of locally adapted native plants in development, parks and or landscaping. Most of these ordinances were adopted in order to reduce water, pesticide and fertilizer use in local landscaping:
          2. This ordinance was later adopted by nearby Schuylkill Township, also in Pennsylvania.
          3. The Lower Makefield ordinance directs in part, that “[a]ll major subdivisions and land development plans shall contain a Landscape Plan approved before construction and as part of the subdivision/land development approval process which shall address the conservation of the natural landscape to enhance the development and to protect surrounding areas. All required plants shall be Native Plants. The basic goal is to preserve the native flora by mimicking the localized native plant community.”
            1. Read the Lower Makefield ordinance
            2. View a PowerPoint presentation (pdf) on the Lower Makefield native plant ordinanceand its development
            3. Read the Schuylkill ordinance