Native plant codes turning over a new leaf in Overland Park

Native plant codes turning over a new leaf in Overland Park

Overland Park is updating its codes to make room for native landscapes that have long been classified as “weeds”. The move could mean front yard gardens featuring formerly banned plants like milkweed, blue sage, native flowers and other species that once dominated northeastern Kansas.

Native plants like milkweed have deeper root systems that infiltrate the soil better than non-native plant species, helping water absorb better in the ground, preventing runoff and reducing flood risks. Many of these plants have become less prevalent across suburbanized areas of Kansas and other Midwestern states despite their importance to local wildlife. Grass lawns and development often replace these native landscapes.

Despite past bans, Overland Park is in the process of updating codes to make space for more planned native landscapes. The new code will refer to the lists the state and county maintain, and could also feature a new section that defines native plants and details their value. The city council will weigh in on this issue later this year.

More on this story at KCUR >>

Image courtesy of I, KENPEI, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5249713