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Native Roots Program

Picture of Native Root ApplicationDavenport Loves Native Plants. Native plants are valuable in preventing stormwater run-off and pollution and are a great way to achieve a sustainable landscape. Our Native Roots program is designed to recognize private-property owners who have incorporated native plant material into their lawn and landscape.

Property owners who register their lawns in the program receive lawn signage to celebrate their urban conservation efforts and educate the community on urban conservation practices that help prevent stormwater pollution and provide habitat.

What are Native Plants?  Native Plants are a population of plants (wildflowers, sedges, rushes, ferns, shrubs and grasses) within a defined geographic area that existed there without direct or indirect human introduction. In other words, native plants are plant species native to Eastern Iowa and made up the majority of the ground cover in this area before settlement. Past the more clinical terminology, the native plants that existed prior to settlement are deep rooted, fibrous plants that thrive in our local climate and ecosystem. They require less time, effort, chemicals and water to maintain and have the added benefits of soaking up rainwater, reducing stormwater run-off and providing habitat for birds, insects, mammals and other wildlife.

What plants are native to our area?   Our application includes information on some plant species native to our area. A broader list can be found at this link. The application also identifies invasive plant species to be wary of. Invasive plants are those plants that were introduced to the area by humans and are resistant to or uninhibited by natural controls such as herbivores, parasites, disease and competition. These plants grow rapidly and can result in exclusion of native plants.

How do I participate in the program? To register your lawn or landscape area for the program, complete and submit the Native Roots Program Application. Key program eligibility requirements are:

Submission of a site plan.  Proposed areas must be evaluated to verify existing native plant population.

Existing areas will be evaluated upon submittal of the application. Areas to be introduced will be evaluated through the application and after installation.

Property owner agrees to maintain signage in the approved native vegetation area. Signage for this program is not only important for celebrating your efforts and educating the public, but it is important because the City also has an ordinance which requires the City to mow and bill the customer for lawns in excess of 9 inches that have not been identified/registered through this program.

Property owner agrees to maintain the native plant material and re-register the lawn/landscape area annually.

Enrollment may be terminated if the area enrolled is not maintained predominantly with native plants and/or the area becomes predominantly populated with non-native and invasive plant material or by the owner upon request.  If enrollment in the program is terminated the Native Roots Program sign must be returned.

Your Project May Qualify for our 50/50 Cost Share Program.  Details at this link.

Questions about this program and application?  Call the Natural Resources at 563.326.7923 or e-mail us at [email protected].