Plant Dane Native Plant Program accepting orders through March 20th

Plant Dane is now accepting plant orders for their 14th annual native plant program. The program provides discounted plants native to Wisconsin to schools, non-profits, municipalities and residences in Dane County. These native plants are important to local ecosystems, and provide a natural habitat for local animals and improved water quality. Dane County Land and Water Resources Department and the Madison Area Municipal Stormwater Partnership (MAMSWaP) sponsor this program to improve water quality, according to Christal Campbell, the Stormwater Education Coordinator for Dane County. “Native plants have long, deep root systems that allow stormwater to soak into the ground preventing runoff from washing pollutants down the storm drain into our lakes, rivers and streams,” Campbell said.

Pollinator Protection work group aims to address City’s pesticide use

The Madison Food Policy Council’s Pollinator Protection work group introduced a resolution to the Common Council last week allowing the creation of the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Policy Review Task Force.  

The task force will revisit policies on pesticides and integrated pest management. Their goal is to explore ways to eliminate or reduce pesticide use to improve the habitats of pollinators on city-owned land. Currently, the resolution is being referred to five to six committees, and the Council is expected to adopt the resolution by July. If approved, the task force will convene and begin reviewing recommendations and then dismiss by early 2019.

Statewide school garden organization provides resources, connects Madison schools

School gardens have found a home in Madison. Over 30 local schools are incorporating garden-based education into the curriculum, and the rewards outweigh the challenges. Ginny Hughes, education director for Community Groundworks, said gardens often begin with the vision of a passionate teacher, parent or community resident, but leadership changes and lack of funding, time and energy can lead to the downfall of an intended garden space. “It’s always changing, and it always requires attention, so that work requires resources,” Hughes said. “I think that’s where we find a lot of lack in our Madison schools.”

That’s where the Wisconsin School Garden Network comes in.