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News: What You Plant Matters


September 01, 2020

The Westport Garden Club and Deep Roots Work to Increase Native Landscapes

Encouraging the appreciation, conservation, and use of native plants in the heartland through education, collaboration, and facilitation of more regenerative native landscapes that are essential for a healthy planet is the mission of Deep Roots. Originally founded in 2014 by The Westport Garden Club in an effort to broaden native plant use, the organization now numbers more than 70 multi-sector partners working across state, county, and city lines in a collaborative effort to increase native plant landscapes. Learn more at

One of Deep Roots first collaborative ventures was a Monarch Demonstration Garden at Loose Park in Kansas City. Three Deep Roots partners worked together to show the public how beautiful native plants can be in an urban setting. The Kansas City Missouri Parks Department provided the space. Alan Branhagen, former director of horticulture at Powell Gardens and recipient of a 2013 Zone Horticulture Commendation, provided the design. The Westport Garden Club members provided the labor, installing the gardens and assuming ongoing maintenance that continues today. 

With the need for more native garden expertise apparent, The Westport Garden Club sponsored Deep Roots’ first regional native plant conference, Plan It Native in 2019. Topics for the conference ranged from ecology to native landscape design and plant selection to habitats for pollinators and birds. The Loose Park native plant gardens were the perfect backdrop for the pre-conference happy hour. Following the success of the first conference, the Plan It Native conference is returning in 2020 – this time online. The virtual conference is scheduled for September 16-18 and will offer three half-days of valuable information for land managers and gardeners. For more information, please visit



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GCA Medalist in the News
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August 25, 2020

The GCA Steps Up Efforts to Reduce Pesticide Use on Lawns
New York Times Cites the GCA’s Project
August 20, 2020


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