The Plant Materials Program is a dynamic program that addresses resource problems and concerns through the use of vegetation and vegetative techniques. The program assembles, tests, and releases plant materials for conservation materials: arranges for commercial production; and promotes the use of plant materials needed to meet the objectives and priorities established locally and nationally.
The program consists of 26 plant materials centers located geographically throughout the US, working with plant materials committees established in the individual states. In partnership with other groups and agencies the centers develop cost effective solutions to resource concerns.
Technology and information is transferred through the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) field offices, universities, the Agricultural Research Service, and others, resulting in adoption by the public and the wise use and management of our natural resources.
The Indiana Plant Materials Committee is responsible for promoting the use of plants to reduce soil erosion, provide wildlife habitat, restore wetlands, and to improve the environment. Currently, the Committee is promoting the use of native plants for conservation uses. Native plant species may perform better in many instances because they are adapted to Indiana ecosystems, provide excellent wildlife habitat, and support the concept of bio-diversity.
The Rose Lake Plant Materials Center (PMC), in East Lansing Michigan, serves Indiana as well as other states in the Great Lakes Region. Located on 40 acres of land leased from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Rose Lake has room for both experimental plots and plant production. Facilities include a greenhouse, seed cleaning equipment, and farm machinery.
The mission of the Rose Lake PMC is to support local resource conservation efforts by finding vegetative solutions to identified concerns. This is accomplished through extensive collection and evaluation of plants and through scientific studies conducted both at Rose Lake and in field trials throughout the region. At any one time Rose Lake is involved in fifteen to twenty-five specific studies or projects.