The lawns, commercial developments, towns and parks that can be found throughout the Chautauqua region have replaced the forest and meadows that stood here hundreds of years ago. While this development is here to stay, property owners within Chautauqua County can use their lawns and gardens to benefit our waterways, as well as our fauna. The decorative flowers, trees and shrubs we plant are often imported from other regions or countries, and they do little to benefit our local ecosystem. Property owners can make their flowerbeds, landscape features and gardens part of the ecosystem by planting native plants that are beneficial to local birds, butterflies, honey bees and other wildlife.
The Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy encourages the planting of trees, flowers, grasses and shrubs that are native to western New York. The CWC removes invasive species on our preserves, and we plant native species. We also help landowners find native plants that are suitable to their yards.
Popular Western New York Native Plants (photos)
Download the CWC's comprehensive list of native flowers
Download the CWC's comprehensive list of native plants
Download the CWC's comprehensive list of native trees
Another helpful resource is the Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper’s Western New York Guide to Native Plants for your Garden.