Native Plants & Pollinators
Native plants are indigenous to an area and have evolved to thrive in their historic environment. Native plants have a multitude of economic and environmental benefits for homeowners, municipalities, property managers, etc. They tend to be low maintenance compared to traditional lawns as there is little to no mowing necessary. Their extensive root systems on average require 4 times less water than lawns, saving residents money while simultaneously mitigating stormwater runoff and reducing water use. Natives also serve as vital food sources and habitat for local and migrating wildlife.
The Department of Conservation and Waterways grows, propagates, and collects seed from various native grasses and pollinator plants to plant at Town facilities, with some being donated to local non-profit partners. Explore the links below to learn more about the appropriate natives to plant in your area, where to purchase them, and tips for building your own native garden!
- NY DEC Native Flowers, Grasses, Shrubs, Trees, and Vines
- National Wildlife Federation Native Plant Finder
- Audubon's Simple Steps to Create a Native Garden in Your Backyard
- Economic and Environmental Benefits of Native Plants
- NY Audubon: Getting Started with Native Plants
- Native Plants for Backyard Birds
- Town of Hempstead's Native Plant Guide! (see below)
Mayors' Monarch Pledge
The Mayors' Monarch Pledge was launched in 2015 by the National Wildlife Federation to aid in the conservation of the monarch butterfly by engaging with communities and municipalities nationwide about the many issues this iconic species faces. Since its inception, over 600 communities and local municipalities have taken the pledge, educating and promoting monarch conservation to millions through action and outreach activities.
In 2022, the Town of Hempstead signed its inaugural pledge committing to various action items including building demonstration pollinator gardens on Town properties, engaging with fellow departments to identify areas of opportunity to grow milkweed and other pollinators in Town owned parks and preserves, as well as hosting Citizen Science opportunities for residents to monitor monarch populations and migration patterns. In our Sustainable Greenhouse, we are able to grow native pollinator plants and milkweeds to be planted throughout Town parks, preserves, and marinas to establish additional monarch habitat. Staff will continue to remove invasive species at the Lido Nature Preserve and encourage residents to install their own pollinator gardens at home.
With 11 action items completed, the Town of Hempstead has achieved Leadership Status for the 2022 pledge cycle! Take a look at our Monarch Report detailing our efforts to create and restore monarch habitat throughout our Township over the past year. We look forward to re-pledging in 2023, and hope to have even more community involvement! If you are interested in volunteering, please fill out our Volunteer Form.