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Rhode Island Natural History Survey » Rhode Island Native Initiative
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dgregg on 07 Apr 2010 12:27 pm

Rhode Island Native Initiative

The Problem

Many people are now aware of the issues with invasives species.  They want native alternatives for their homes, gardens, and parks. Yet, when the average consumer goes to local nursery to buy a native plant, such as our state tree the red maple, chances are that tree came from plant material collected and/or grown many states way In fact, this red maple tree could be a genetic clone or hybrid cultivar.  Often these “native” plants don’t provide the same ecological function in our ecosystems.

The Vision

What if you could go to your local nursery and buy a plant that was grown from genetically diverse, wild seed collected in Rhode Island…in other words — a true native.  That’s the idea behind Rhody Native. Initially, Rhody Native will focus on habitat restoration projects, but will soon spread to the consumer retail market. Keep an eye out for native plants with the Rhody Native label!

Benefits of Rhody Native
-Rhody Native plants will provide business opportunities for local nurseries – GO LOCAL!
-Plants grown in Rhode Island will be free of pests contained in soil shipped from other parts of the country.
-Plants grown from native Rhode Island seed stock will be genetically diverse and better suited to resist native pests and diseases.
-Locally sourced native plants evolved under local conditions, so they will not need extra life support associated with outsourced plants (watering, fertilizers, etc.)
-Plant material sourced from Rhode Island wild stock will match the timing of our growing season and the life cycles of our insect and wildlife.
-Rhody Native plants will represent a landscape that is uniquely Rhode Island in composition.

Who’s Involved
RINHS is working with key stakeholders to develop the Rhody Native project, including
Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management
Natural Resources Conservation Service
The University of Rhode Island
Rhode Island Nursery and Landscaping Association
Rhode Island Wild Plant Society
Local Nurseries

How can YOU get involved?

Get into Rhody Native plants at the following retail locations carrying Rhody Native plants for the 2011/2012 season:
Blue Moon Farm Perennials, Wakefield
Central Nurseries, Johnston
Chaves Gardens, Middletown
Clark Farms, Wakefield
Confreda Gardens, Coventry
Farmer’s Daughter, South Kingstown
Good Earth Organic Garden Center, Western Cranston
Wildwood Nursery and Garden Center, East Greenwich

Follow Rhody Native on Facebook and contribute your own ideas.

If you’re a nursery industry professional, attend a free workshop series put on by the University of Rhode Island, in cooperation with the Rhode Island Nursery and Landscape Association and the Rhode Island Natural History Survey through a Northeast SARE grant. Workshop participants will share experience and best practices for native plant propagation, diversifying and strengthening the skills and capability of the Rhode Island industry. Workshop Schedule.

Sign up for the Rhody Native e-news and get the latest on volunteer events (seed collection, transplanting, planting demonstration gardens), workshops, and plant sales. To sign up, contact Vanessa Venturini (Vanessa “at” uri.edu).

One Response to “Rhode Island Native Initiative”

  1. on 05 Jan 2011 at 8:37 am 1.wendy bolster said …

    Can cuttings/plants be sold to the Rhody Native project (from my 154 acre tree farm in Foster, RI). Or how else might it work?
    Thank you.

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