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GCA Honorary Member Douglas Tallamy Issues a Call to Action


May 18, 2021

Achieving Twenty Million Acres of Native Plantings

Douglas Tallamy, The Garden Club of America (GCA) honorary member and 2013 recipient of the GCA's Margaret Douglas Medal for conservation education, has kicked off the largest conservation project ever conceived, aimed at achieving twenty million acres of native plantings — about half the size of all the traditional lawns on private properties.

Homegrown National Park™ is a grassroots, call-to-action program to restore biodiversity, asking homeowners, property owners, land managers, farmers, and anyone with soil to plant natives and remove most invasive plants.

“In the past we have asked one thing of our gardens: that they be pretty. Now they have to support life, sequester carbon, feed pollinators, and manage water,” says Tallamy. “Our national parks, no matter how grand in scale, are too small and separated from one another to preserve species to the levels needed. Thus the concept for Homegrown National Park™ - to restore habitat where we live and work, and to a lesser extent, where we farm and graze, extending national parks to our yards and communities.”

Tallamy and his associates have created an interactive map to record native plantings by zip code and track efforts toward the twenty million acres. Participation is free and establishing an account is straightforward. To get started with resources for native plants, visit

The white-blotched heterocampa caterpillar is essential to maintaining biodiversity, one of the aims of the new Homegrown National Park initiative. Photo by Douglas Tallamy



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