Posted by John Ester on Sep 18, 2018
Carolyn Thayer of Plan It Wild explained why it is important to use native plants for shoreline landscaping.

Natural shorelines are made up of native plants:  everything from canopy trees to ground covers. Native plants provide food and shelter for birds, butterflies, beneficial insects and all wildlife.  They also preserve the natural diversity in the landscape and address a number of problems that often arise along shorelines, including runoffs and erosion. Once established, native plants also eliminate the need for irrigation.
Native plants also are hosts to native insects that are pollinators for fruits and vegetables. Carolyn showed examples where homeowners working with the Benzie Conservation District progressed from having grass all the way down to their shore to a much healthier arrangement with native plants.
In addition to fielding questions Carolyn made available a number of resources, including a native plant catalog, a list of local nurseries selling native plants and an excerpt from an article by esteemed professor Douglas Tallamy.  Further information is available on the website of Plan It Wild.