Native Landscaping Certification

James-Holmes-NLCP-L1-Class

— — — — —

IMPORTANT – At total of five NPSOT Houston Chapter Native Landscaping Certification Program Level 1 classes were held at Armand Bayou Nature Center in 2016. In Spring 2017, classes included Level 1 classes at Armand Bayou Nature Center and Level 3 classes at Kleb Wood Nature Preserve.

The Houston area Fall 2017 schedule includes the following classes: 

NLCP Level 1 – Saturday, October 14th.

NLCP Level 3 – Saturday, November 4th.

If an additional Level 1 class is needed this Fall, it will be held October 28, but it is not currently open for registration.

When registration opens use the following link: click here.

NPSOT Houston Chapter NLCP Team Locating Plants at Kleb Woods

— — — — —

The Native Plant Society of Texas, Houston Chapter has exciting news! The Native Landscape Certification Program (NLCP) created by the Native Plant Society of Texas was initiated in the Greater Houston Area in the Spring 2016 with three Spring and two Fall classes held.

Native plants in gardens, landscaping and habitats help sustain nature in a time when the “wild and natural” are disappearing. Native plants help sustain a healthy ecosystem by supporting a biodiversity of plant and animal life – a balance that nature intended. Getting back to nature brings many benefits for families, the environment and the economy. While these are ample reasons to “grow native”, it is often difficult for interested parties to start the process of native gardening. NLCP classes provide the essential basics for starting and sustaining native plant gardens and habitats.

With the involvement of NPSOT – Houston Chapter, NLCP classes teach best practices for native plant landscapes, habitat preservation and introduction with information specific to our greater Houston area. The format is a combination of classroom instruction and outside fieldwork at a natural area for instruction in native plant identification, including trees, shrubs, forbs and grasses, the uses and selection of native plants in landscaping, and identification of invasive plants found in our area. At each level of training, students are introduced to 45 native plants that thrive in the Houston area and 5 invasive species to avoid.

Goals of the NLCP classes are to (a) educate NPSOT members and general public about the value of natives, (b) how to use them in home and commercial landscapes, and to (c) provide native landscape education, CEU’s, and credentials to landscape professionals, developers, and nature-oriented groups.

NLCP is organized in a series of four levels. Once Level 1 is taken, the other three levels can be taken in any order.

Level 1: Introduction to Native Landscapes

Level 2: Design and Development with Native Plants

Level 3: Installing and Maintaining Native Landscapes

Level 4: Advocating for Our Native Plant Community (under development).

Kane-NLCPL1-Plant-Walk

Level 1: Introduction to Native Plants

Introductory class and requisite for all other classes.

Part 1 covers broad concepts: Value of native plants in the landscape: impacts of conventional development; ecology, landscaping with natives, including local ecological areas of Texas, local soils, preserving existing natives; and resources available.

Part 2 covers the identification and use in the landscape of 45 native plants that can normally be found in local nurseries and 5 invasive plants to avoid. Plants are selected for beginner use in the landscape. Native trees, ornamental trees, shrubs, flowering plants, grasses/sedges, groundcovers and vines are identified for use in the landscape. Also includes the introduction and identification of five invasive plants.

Class includes an outdoor plant hike and an optional test.

Nancy-NLCP-L1-Class

Level 2: Design and Development with Native Plants

Provides native plant design criteria for landscapes by looking at the big picture issues of ecosystems and city development regulations that surround an individual landscape.

Part 1 covers the broad but complex issue of surrounding ecosystems and how individual landscapes play a part in these ecosystems. It also covers regulations for landscapes by investigating city development codes. These elements are considered while discovering the techniques of landscape design and planting design when working with native plants. It includes preservation methods for plants and/or plant colonies, and designing with and contributing to existing ecosystems. Considerations include hydrology, geology, soils, climatic conditions, and wildlife. Other design considerations include resolving the heat island effect, human use needs, maintenance issues, esthetic considerations, and abiding with city plant lists.

Part 2 covers the identification and use in the landscape of 45 native plants and 5 invasive plants different from Level 1. This level includes plants that may not be found in a local nursery, but would be plants that might be preserved if found in a landscape. Native trees, ornamental trees, shrubs, flowering plants, grasses/sedges, groundcovers and vines are covered. Also includes the introduction and identification of five invasive plants not covered in Level 1.

Class includes an outdoor plant hike and an optional test.

Margaret-NLCPL1-Plant-Walk

Level 3: Installing and Maintaining Native Landscapes

Explores the differences in installation and maintenance between native plant landscapes and traditional landscapes. This course offers (1) professional contractors the opportunity to learn the nuances of working with native plants and (2) individuals the opportunity to learn how to care for their native plant landscape. CEU credit is important for this course.

Part 1 explores the look of native landscapes and issues surrounding planting a native landscape. City codes and ordinances are discussed and explored. Students learn where to find and purchase native plants, the placement of plants, and soil improvements and mulch that may be needed. Maintaining a native landscape can be profitable for those who know what native plants should look like, what and how to prune, what’s a weed, and what tools to use. Native irrigation requirements, tree trimming, pests, and disease issues are covered. Managing for wildlife and larger scale landscape management is addressed.

Part 2 covers the identification of 45 native plants and 5 invasive plants different from Levels 1 and 2.   Native trees, ornamental trees, shrubs, flowering plants, grasses/sedges, groundcovers and vines are covered. Also includes the introduction and identification of five invasive plants not covered in Levels 1 and 2.

Class includes an outdoor plant hike and an optional test.

Redbud-Slide-NLCP-L1-class

Level 4: Advocating for Our Native Plant Community

Trains participants in the language that allows them to value, speak, and advocate for the natural systems in their communities.

Part 1 identifies the ecology and natural environment of the community by identifying ecological and natural features of the local environment. Students are introduced to multiple issues that affect the natural environment statewide and locally, and are given ideas and tools to voice a concern for environmental preservation.

Part 2 covers the identification of 45 native plants and 5 invasive plants different from Levels 1, 2, and 3.   Plant selection for this level will include plants to preserve and conserve along with the best plants to plant. Native trees, ornamental trees, shrubs, flowering plants, grasses/sedges, groundcovers and vines are covered. Also includes the introduction and identification of five invasive plants not covered in Levels 1, 2, and 3.

Class includes an outdoor plant hike and an optional test.

— — — — —

More information and details for registration for NLCP classes is available at:

http://npsot.org/wp/nlcp/about