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Virginia CZM Program: 2015 Coastal Grant Project Description and Final Summary

Project Task Number:CZM logo



Northern Virginia Regional Commission

Project Title:

Northern Virginia Native Plant Social Marketing Campaign (“Plant NoVA Natives”)

Project Description:

Virginia CZM Program partners report that throughout Virginia’s coastal zone, including the Northern Virginia region, an increasing number of gardeners are aware of the water quality and wildlife habitat benefits of native plants and indicate that they would be interested in using natives, but real and perceived barriers clearly exist that prevent people from planting native plants.  With previous funding from Virginia CZM (FY11 Task 54), NVRC designed and piloted the “Plant NoVA Natives” campaign.  This grant would enable full implementation of the campaign.  The campaign uses a community-based social marketing (CBSM) approach to encourage residents to go beyond awareness and to take action – acquiring and planting species native to Northern Virginia.  The campaign is part of a coast-wide effort by the Virginia CZM Program and its partners to increase the demand and supply of native plants through collaboration with partners in the Virginia Native Plants Marketing Partnership as well as through support for the development and implementation of regional campaigns.  

The Plant NoVA Natives partnership continues to be strong with new partners eager to participate.  The project coordinators expect to develop partnerships with the leading nurseries in Northern Virginia through this next grant process. Currently, the partners comprise a Plant NoVA Natives Steering Team and participate regularly in meetings and workshops and include all disciplines.  The campaign partners include representatives from the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia, Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy, Mason Sustainability Institute, Nature by Design, Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District, Potowmack Chapter, Virginia Native Plant Society, Prince William Wildflower Society Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Department of Forestry, Virginia Master Gardeners, Virginia Master Naturalists and of most importance, the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program with  NOAA. 

Federal Funding:


Project Contact:

Corey Miles; 703.642.4625;

Project Status:

10/1/15 - 9/30/16; Project Completed

Final Product:

Northern Virginia Native Plant Social Marketing Campaign - 'Plant NoVA Natives' (PDF)

Project Summary:

Campaign Promotional and Marketing Materials

To assist with outreach and education, new promotional and marketing materials were developed for the campaign. The website is regularly updated with new information and promotional materials.  The materials can be viewed here  Several of the promotional materials have been translated into different languages including Spanish, German, Vietnamese, Korean, French, Arabic, and Farsi so that the diverse population of Northern Virginia has access to the information. 

Community Leader Coordination

NVRC has been organizing the campaign’s corps of volunteer Community Leaders for various outreach events, providing logistical and administrative support, as well as working with volunteers on development of marketing and educational materials.  NVRC also tracks the activities of volunteer Community Leaders so that the effectiveness of the Community Leader program can be captured. Over 1,000 volunteer Community Leader hours were spent on the following activities:
Steering Committee  245
Outreach Committee 205
Training Events  175
Public Outreach Events 90
Material Development 82
Outreach to Nurseries 75
Website/ Social Media 205

Recommendations for Native Plant Enforceable Policy
NVRC developed a set of common definitions for managed natural landscapes, noxious weeds, turf grass, and native plants to be used in local weed ordinances.  NVRC staff also developed a resolution that recognizes the essential value and importance of Virginia native plants in a managed natural landscape and also acknowledges that managed natural landscape means a planned, intentional and maintained planting of native grasses, wildflowers, forbs, ferns, shrubs or trees, including but not limited to rain gardens, meadow vegetation, and ornamental plantings.

Disclaimer: This project summary provides the federal dollars initially awarded to the grantee. Due to underexpenditure or reprogramming of grant funds, this figure may change. For more information on the allocation of coastal grant funds, please contact Laura McKay, Virginia Coastal Program Manager, at 804.698.4323 or

A more detailed Scope of Work for this project is available. Please direct your request for a copy to


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

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