What’s the Homegrown National Park and Why Do You Want In?

Logo of the "Homegrown National Park" movement, featuring their mascot, a firefly!

Homegrown National Park (HNP) is, in their own words, “a grassroots call-to-action to regenerate biodiversity and ecosystem function by planting native plants…where we live and work…extending national parks into our yards and communities.” We at North By Nature Landscapes couldn’t be more excited about this movement!

Whether you have 100s of acres, a suburban yard, or a container garden, you can join in growing the Homegrown National Park (HNP)!

What should you plant? The HNP team has identified “keystone species” by region that provide food, shelter, and/or nesting places for outsized numbers of different pollinators, birds, and other wildlife species. These include everything from giant oak trees to tiny flowers. Here’s their list of recommended trees and shrubs for our area of northern Michigan.

Homegrown National Park’s Keystone Trees for our EcoZone, #8.1

Why do we need the Homegrown National Park? The originator of the idea and one of the movement’s co-founders is Dr. Doug Tallamy, a professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware. He and the HNP team explain the urgency of the project:
“We’ve reached a critical point. Local ecosystems are losing so many species that their ability to provide the ecosystem services (oxygen, clean water, flood control, pollination, pest control, carbon storage, etc) that sustain us will become seriously compromised.”

Currently, protected areas are not big enough to do it alone, “Our National Parks, no matter how grand in scale, are too small and separated from one another to preserve species to the levels needed,” says Dr. Tallamy.

BUT, the HNP team says, “…don’t worry…this isn’t a ‘bad human’ moment. We can fix this together–with good stewardship–and have fun doing it!” No finger wagging needed.

Since you are reading the North By Nature blog, you’ve probably already begun planting northern Michigan native plants. If so, you can get on the map of Homegrown National Park. Let’s get Michigan into the top ten in the state rankings!

The Homegrown National Park movement's map of those who have planted native plants in the United States.

We could go on and on, but we’ll share more about this inspiring movement and all the HNP team has to say in future editions of the North by Nature blog, on our Google profile, and on Facebook.

In the meantime, explore the Homegrown National Park website and/or follow them on TikTok, Instagram, or Facebook. They aren’t kidding about having fun!



Sound Up! Shoreline Pollinator Garden Sound Effects.

Shoreline Pollinator Garden featuring New England Asters. Seed grown native species are crucial for the health of our landscapes and ecosystems. They are also visually stunning and are the last flowers to bloom – often into October when all others have faded. We have combined them with Stiff Goldenrod, Mountain Mint, Swamp Milkweed, native Hibiscus, Blue Lobelia, Cardinal Flower, and Tussock Sedge in a shoreline buffer garden replacing an unmowable and swampy lawn. Background audio is the real deal so turn it up to enjoy fully.

New England Aster and Stiff Goldenrod, October 2021, Walloon Lake, MI

New England Aster and Stiff Goldenrod

Shoreline Buffer Garden with Michigan Native Plants