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Increasing the Use of Virginia Native Plants


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Increasing the amount of native vegetation in Virginia’s coastal zone can accomplish many goals: protecting water quality and quantity, increasing carbon dioxide absorption, enhancing wildlife habitat and improving aesthetics and quality of life.  Virginia CZM has invested significant resources over its 25 year history on land and water-based habitat restoration and protection, emphasizing the importance of maintaining and increasing valuable native vegetative cover. 

Regional Native Plant Marketing Campaigns

In spring 2009, the Virginia Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Program and its partners launched the Plant ES Natives campaign using proven social marketing tools and techniques with a focus on making planting natives fun, easy and popular. It has been a model for development of other regional campaigns initiated and funded by the Virginia CZM Program - Plant NOVA Natives, Plant NNK Natives, and Plant Central Rapp Natives.  Components of the Plant ES Natives Campaign strategy, such as a regional plant guide, have been easily transferrable to address barriers common in all the regions to planting natives. Each region however is unique and the planning teams are continuously evaluating which place-based approaches are most effective in reaching their gardening population.

        Plant RVA Natives Campaign logo

Visit to learn more about these regional native plant marketing campaigns, and to download the regional native plant guides for the Eastern Shore, Northern Neck, Northern Virginia, Central Rappahannock, Virginia Capital region and Southeast Virginia.  (Shown below.)  




Virginia Native Plant Marketing Partnership

In August 2011, the Virginia CZM Program established the Virginia Native Plant Marketing Partnership to Identify and prioritize opportunities to collaborate on Virginia native plant communication and marketing efforts and form cohesive and coordinated messaging and strategies to increase local availability and use of native plants state-wide.

A Steering Team of member organizations identified collaborative projects that would be more effectively and efficiently addressed through the partnership: a) support for a Virginia conservation landscaping certification; b) strategies to help increase the availability of native plants including a framework and guidelines for native plant seed collection/propagation; and, c) coordination of state-wide native plant marketing strategies.

The Partnership Steering Team drafted an Action Plan based on these priorities, which is focused on strategies and actions to address four goals:

1) Increase collaboration and coordination among partners engaged in native pant education, communication and marketing;
2) Increase Virginia Grown native plant stock (percentage goal to be determined);
3) Increase the availability of native plants at local plant retailers (percentage goal to be determined); and,
4) Increase demand and use of Virginia native plants by landscape and land use professions, homeowners, landscaping and demonstration restoration projects on public and private lands.

Read more about the Virginia Native Plant Marketing Partnership, the membership of the Partnership, and download the Partnership's Action Plan at  


For comments or questions concerning this program's web pages, contact Virginia Witmer.

This web site is provided by the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program through a federal Coastal Zone Management Act grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, US Department of Commerce.


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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000

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