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Embracing Nature with Native Plant Ordinances

Posted on by Lynn Yenkey

Has your native plant garden ever been cited by local code enforcement or home owners’ association as out of bounds? Wish you had some recourse to show native plantings are as valid in the eyes of the law as turf grass and clipped hedges? After Terry Wolfer’s experience with the city of Columbia nearly ticketing him for his native plant front yard, he began researching municipal native plant ordinances that could provide such backup.

At the Midlands member meeting this month, Terry presented methods to design a public-facing garden that demonstrate it is intentional and cared for, and help dissuade the weed police. And he shared how these ordinances can help us confidently grow native gardens in service of South Carolina wildlife without worry of a ticket. You can read his presentation here and see an example municipal plant ordinance created by lawyer Rosanne Plante, courtesy of Wild Ones.

Terry left us with a challenge to tackle an ordinance for Columbia. The Midlands Chapter can be a big part of making this happen and we’re exploring how to best go about that effort. We’ll certainly need everyone’s help, so be on the lookout for more soon.