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3 Reasons to Plant Native: A Recap of our 2nd Annual Plant Sale 

Native plant sale sign with potted plants on a sunny day. Image is rotated 90 degrees clockwise.

Spring arrives in a variety of ways in the High Desert. From the pollen in the air to increased river flows, the season often makes its yearly debut known to all. Though spring blooms may require you to break out the allergy medication, they also serve as a colorful reminder that warmer days are on our horizon. With spring and summer heat comes dry conditions, and to keep your yard looking great, it’s best to plant species that can stand up against the climate.  

Deschutes SWCD recently welcomed spring in partnership with Great Basin Nursery by holding our 2nd Annual Native Plant Sale at the Downtown Bend Earth Day Fair & Parade. Hosted by our friends at the Environmental Center, this event provided Central Oregonians with opportunities to learn how they can make earth-minded changes in their daily lives. With people, partners, and plant-lovers present, the Earth Day Fair offered Deschutes SWCD the chance to educate and empower landowners regarding the sustainability of their yards and gardens. The benefits of planting native species are immense, not only for your yard but also for the broader ecosystem. 


Here are three reasons to plant native species:  

  1. Biodiversity & Connectivity
    • Central Oregon’s unique landscape—characterized by high desert terrain, juniper forests, and volcanic formations—requires thoughtful stewardship. Native plants have co-evolved with these conditions over millennia. Native species provide familiar and essential habitat for local wildlife. Their presence ensures that ecosystems remain resilient and interconnected.  Pollinator SupportPollinator Support
  2. Pollinator Support
    • Pollinators like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds rely on native plants for sustenance. These plants offer nectar and pollen sources, supporting the survival and reproductive success of these vital critters. By planting native flowers, you create a haven for pollinators, allowing them to carry pollen across the region. In turn, healthy pollinator populations benefit both wildflowers and agricultural crops. 
  3. Water Conservation
    • The dry climate of our region demands water-wise gardening practices. Native plants are well-adapted to Central Oregon’s rainfall patterns. Once established, they require less irrigation, conserving precious water resources. Their deep root systems prevent soil erosion and enhance soil structure, allowing better water retention. By choosing native species, you not only save water but also promote soil health—a critical consideration in our high desert environment. 


Potted green plants in a nursery.

In total, Deschutes SWCD’s sale was able to help add 120 native plants to our collective landscape. If you didn’t have a chance to connect with us at the Earth Day Fair and Parade, don't worry-- there’s still a variety of ways to learn more!  Deschutes SWCD and partners have resources available to help get your garden going. For more information on native plants for Central Oregon, refer to OSU Extension’s publication Selecting Native Plants for Home Landscapes in Central Oregon, view resources from Pollinator Pathways or reach out to Deschutes SWCD for more information of getting started with native plants.   Happy Spring, Central Oregon!