Richard Louv in Last Child in the Woods, points out that the baby boomers are the last generation of Americans to share an intimate, familial attachment to the land and water. The importance of nature to our well-being has been demonstrated by numerous studies correlating improved learning, an increased sense of well-being, and reduced crime in neighborhoods with trees and parks. In addition, folks don’t save something they don’t love, so we want to help them do so.

The Native Plant Society of Texas created the Native Landscape Certification Program in order to encourage a migration of Texans back to nature that will reap priceless benefits for our families, environment, and economy.

The Native Landscape Certification Program (NLCP) is a series of day-long classes that teaches best practices for native plant landscaping – including wildlife habitat gardening. Each class consists of an indoor training session and a 2-hour outdoor plant walk. We show you native plants in their natural habitat, illustrating their use in the landscape. You will also see common invasive plants in natural areas. In each level you are presented 45 native Texas plants recommended for your landscape and 5 invasive plants to avoid.

Targeted audiences include homeowners, native plant enthusiasts, landscape architects, architects, landscape designers, plant nursery employees, maintenance workers, park employees, Master Naturalists, Master Gardeners, teachers, and more.

Classes are currently offered only in a few cities. Future plans are to offer it in all the major cities of Texas.

We look forward to increased use and cultural acceptance of native plants in urban landscapes and rejection of invasives, improved marketability of native plants, a greater sense of place for residents and visitors, appreciation by landowners of their land’s natural assets, increased community rejection of destruction of natural resources, increased production of native plants by the horticulture industry, increased presence of “desirable” wildlife species in urban landscapes and reduced undesirable wildlife, such as grackles, and increased advocacy by licensed professionals for native plants.

The project was conceived by former Native Plant Society of Texas President Melissa Miller and former San Antonio city arborist Debbie Reid, who also helped found the Texas Master Naturalist program.