Native Plants Program at Lincoln University Cooperative Extension

The main goals of the Native Plants Program (NPP) are to promote the use of native plants for conservation to enhance biodiversity in rural and urban settings and to increase awareness about their potential as specialty crops to generate income for underserved audiences including small farmers, producers, landowners and others.

To accomplish these goals, the NPP organizes and participates in seminars, workshops and field days to offer training and hands-on demonstrations about topics related to native plants. By doing these presentations, the NPP fulfills the mission of Lincoln University Cooperative Extension (LUCE) that provides service for diverse audiences including those of various ethnicities and ages.

The NPP works in close collaboration with the Northern Research Station, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service, the University of Missouri-Columbia (MU) Center for Agroforestry and MU's Bradford Research & Extension Center in Columbia where research plots and demonstration gardens are open throughout the year.

The NPP has joined the efforts of grassroots organizations in Missouri including the Missouri Prairie Foundation, garden clubs, the Native Plant Society, Master Naturalists and Master Gardeners. Federal and state agencies, especially the Grow Native! Program (, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and Farm Service Agency (FSA) increase awareness about the importance of native plants for wildlife, especially to protect native pollinators and other important invertebrates to maintain biodiversity and improve fruit and seed production for food in urban and rural farms.

Native Plant Outdoor Laboratories and Classrooms

The NPP is developing Native Outdoor Laboratories (NPOL) that consist of a series of Missouri native plant gardens, including woody and herbaceous species, with information addressing the importance of native plants for landscaping, wildlife habitat and as specialty crops for food, fiber and dyes to improve the way of life for citizens in farms and cities.


  • To inform educators and communities about native plants found in natural areas such as prairies, savannas, wetlands and woodlands
  • To inform about uses of native plants by humans and their potential to generate income
  • To identify the importance of native plants for wildlife habitat
  • For beautification and the enjoyment of communities of various ethnicities and ages


The outdoor laboratories and demonstration sites can be visited at three main locations in the spring and fall:

  1. Lincoln University main campus between Allen and Foster Hall (Jefferson City, Missouri)
  2. Lincoln University Alan T. Busby Farm (Jefferson City, Missouri)
  3. Martin Community Center (Marshall, Missouri)

Spanish-English Interpretation

Interpretive signs are displayed in English and Spanish and bilingual brochures are available at the laboratories. The brochures cover information about the importance of native plants as food, fiber, dyes, and medicine. We also cover their use in conservation practices, and to provide habitat for wildlife, especially native pollinators.

Outreach and Education

Seminars and field days are offered at throughout the year. Training and exhibits with the participation of Lincoln University specialists and representative organizations mentioned above, are offered during these events. Participation is open to citizens of different ages and ethnicities.

Upcoming Native Plants Events


Back to Nature with Native Plants 2014
Learning to Manage Native Plants for Pollinators and Us

  • All classes meet from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Meeting location is at Dickinson Parking Lot located on 1219 Chestnut Street, Jefferson City, MO.
  • During every class staff will offer 20 to 30 minute talk regarding a special topic followed by orientation to conduct activities of the day.
  • Classes are free but advanced registration is encouraged. Space is limited.
  • RSVP by email to Amy Hempen at, or call Sue Bartelette at (573) 681-5581 or Nadia Navarrete-Tindall at (573) 681-5392
  • Please bring pruners, gloves, shovels, bucket (optional) and dress comfortably. Some tools will be available during classes.
  • Pollinator observation activities will be done during every session. Data will be collected and sent to the 'Great Sunflower Project'.

 For more information about these and other events, see the Cooperative Extension and Research Calendar


Examples of PowerPoint presentations that can be offered upon request are as follows:

  • Introduction to Native Plants
  • Woodland and Prairie Plants
  • Prairie Vegetation
  • Woodland Vegetation
  • Native Plant Landscaping for Wildlife
  • Native Cool Season Grasses: Identification and Production
  • Native Plants for Native Pollinators
  • Native Plants Adapted to Wetlands
  • Climbers, Clingers and Creepers: Native Vines for You and Other Wildlife


In the News

Contact Information:
Dr. Nadia Navarrete-Tindall
Lincoln University Cooperative Extension
900 Chestnut Street
306 Allen Hall
Jefferson City, Missouri 65101
Phone: (573) 681-5392
FAX: (573) 681-5546
Native Plants Website:


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