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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'.
DateDiscussion Topic/ActivitiesLocation
Thursday, February 27Winter maintenance. Importance of native plants in winter time. Cutting plants back and removing debris.Allen/Foster Native Plant Outdoor Laboratory (NPOL)
Thursday, March 13Maintenance and Plant Propagation: continuing clean-up of garden, cutting shrubs back and removing debris. Save woody shavings for propagation.Allen/Foster NPOL
Thursday, March 27Maintenance, lifting plants and clean-up. Lifting baby plants and moving plants out of place. Seedlings will be shared with participants.Allen/Foster NPOL
Thursday, April 3 (Cancelled due to forecasted inclement weather.)Importance of biodiversity and early pollinators. Continue lifting plants out of place.Allen/Foster NPOL and Roundabout on Leslie Blvd. and Stadium Blvd.
Thursday, April 24The FINCA (Families Integrating Nature, Conservation and Agriculture) project. Planting native edible plants at FINCA plotsLincoln FINCA by Old Greenhouse across the community garden and/or shuttle to Carver/Busby
Thursday, May 1Principles of Native Plants Garden Design: evaluating the Native Plant Garden installed by class participants in 2013.Native Plant Garden at West Entrance on Chestnut Street, across from the community garden.
Thursday, May 15Early spring wildflowers and non-natives. Removal of winter honeysuckle.Foster Woodland at Allen/Foster NPOL
Thursday, June 5Native plants for pollinators and birds. Adding native plants to gardens and cut spent blooms of early flowers. Making observationsof pollinators and butterflies.Allen/Foster NPOL, Roundabout, Dickinson Garden
Thursday, June 19Rain gardens. Help lift plants and clean Rain Garden. Pollinators week - June 17- 23Rain Garden at Allen/Foster NPOL
Thursday, August 7Native Edibles. Cooking demonstration. Hands-on activity.FINCA on campus and Dickinson. Lincoln University Commercial Kitchen at Lorenzo J. Greene Building (South Campus)
Thursday, September 18Fall flowers and and fall colors. Fall cleanup, seed collecting and late pollinators.Busby Native Plant Garden. Meet at Dickinson Parking lot for ride to Busby
Thursday, November 6Discussion about accomplishments in 2014. Continue seed collection. End of year evaluation. Thanksgiving potluck. Bring a dish to share!Allen/ Foster NPOL


Date/TimeEvent/FeeMeeting Location
Tuesday, April 22 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.Earth Day Celebration Volunteer Day Clean-up and adding new plants. Lincoln University student associations will participate. No cost to participants. Please RSVP.Various locations. Dickinson Parking lot @ 9:00 a.m., Lincoln FINCA @ 1:00 p.m., Allen/Foster @ 3:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 6 3:00 p.m. garden tours, 6:00 p.m. mixer, presentations and dinnerDINING WILD $25/person. Deadline to register. August 25. Guest speaker: Bill Ruppert and Native Plants Program presentationMeeting location: Dickinson parking lot. Tour: Native Plant Outdoor Lab/Dickinson. Mixer,Exhibits and Dinner: Scruggs Ballroom Lincoln University campus
Saturday, September 20In Touch With Nature Field Day. No cost to participants. Please RSVP.Alan T. Busby Farm, 5124 Goller Road, Jefferson City, MO.

 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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