We understand the impact a construction project can have on a community and the environment. As a result, we believe strongly in sustainable building principles and methods for protecting and caring for the environment to maintain a healthy space for residents to live, work, and play. A simple way to achieve this goal is considering incorporating native plants into surrounding spaces of buildings.

 

What is a native plant?

Native plants refer to the types of plants that grew in a region before the colonization by Europeans. These are plants you can find naturally in the wild. Pennsylvania’s 2,000+ native plants include grasses, ferns, trees, shrubs, wildflowers and more.

To learn more about the native plants in Pennsylvania, check out The Penn State Extension’s list of PA’s most common native plants.

Dogwood tree. Credit: Stauffers of Kissel Hill

 

Why is it important to care for native plants?

Drastically removing native plants or introducing new plants to the environment can potentially cause negative impacts on a region’s natural ecosystem. Much of PA’s wildlife solely relies on native plants for their diet as well as many insects. Dramatic changes in native landscape can decrease an insect population, which impacts birds, which affects other small animals and so on down the line.

Learn more about what the DCNR is doing to protect PA’s rare plants.

 

What are the benefits of using native plants?

Utilizing native plants in landscaping presents some attractive benefits like:

  • Low maintenance
  • Adaptation to PA’s climate
  • Natural source for bird food and pollinators

DCNR provides a list of tips for landscaping with native plants and where to buy native plants.

 

How can native plants be incorporated into landscaping?

Though central PA boasts acres of state parks, farmland, game lands and rural community space, there remains many ways to mindfully incorporate native plants into landscaping such as:

 

Downtown Features

Living in downtown areas is an attractive option for millennials through senior age. As more people take interest in moving into places where restaurants, activities, and amenities are within walking distance, it opens opportunities for native plants to be incorporated into downtown spaces. Small parks, town centers, and even redeveloping street systems to incorporate tree-lined walkways are places where native plants could support birds and insects to harmoniously with downtown residents.

 

Industrial Buildings

As of 2019, Central PA is home to 96 warehouses. Though these buildings can take up land space, they also provide a large area for planting native trees around the perimeter or creating a natural barrier between properties. Low shrubs, ferns or other plants could also be incorporated to sustain insects and birds.

 

Rails to Trails Systems

Many towns and cities are converting old railways into trails or simply creating new trail systems that provide residents with a safe place to walk, run, or ride bikes. Not only are they a safe place for healthy activity, they also become a haven for wildlife. Supporting these trail systems by planting native trees and other flora can make an attractive space for animals, insects, and the community. Investing in community features like this can create an appealing feature for potential residents or business owners, potentially generating a demand for new housing or commercial space.

Mowery not only cares about providing a remarkable construction experience, we also care about how the environment is going to experience the buildings we create. Learn about how Mowery is well versed in construction to achieve LEED Certification.