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Policy Makers

Plant Materials Information for Policy Makers

The purpose of the National Plant Materials Program is to provide native plants that can help solve natural resource problems. Beneficial uses for which plant material may be developed include erosion reduction, soil health improvement, water quality improvement, streambank and riparian area protection, coastal dune stabilization, biomass production, carbon sequestration, wetland restoration, and other special conservation treatment needs.

Scientists at the Plant Materials Centers seek out plants that show promise for meeting an identified conservation need and test their performance. After species are proven, they are released to the private sector for commercial production. Plant Materials Centers also develop the techniques and methods to apply, establish, and manage plants used in conservation practices to protect and enhance our nation’s natural resources.

Plant Materials Program information is applicable to municipalities, communities, urban and suburban land users and land planners, and homeowners. The proven plants and techniques developed by the program are available to incorporate into standards and specification for the use of vegetation.

Plant Materials Program conservation resources, technical resources, publications and guides may be useful when choosing plants, planting and seeding operations, and for creating native landscapes, rain gardens, community gardens, and pollinator friendly gardens. Plants information may also be used as components of managing storm-water runoff such as in biofiltration systems including bioswales, bioretention cells and rain gardens to capture runoff from impervious surfaces such as rooftops, driveways, and patios.

Many of the Plant Materials Programs 600+ conservation plant releases are used to create colorful low water-use, drought tolerant, sustainable landscapes. Native plants released by the Plant Materials Program are often more fire resistant and remain green longer than invasive species.