The Horticulture Division of the Valparaiso Parks Department is committed to environmentally responsible land management. This is accomplished by designing landscapes with native species as the primary plant materials and where monocultures of single species are disallowed, thus avoiding environmental tragedies such as the emerald ash borer, American Chestnut blight, or Dutch Elm disease.
Ornamental plants and flowers are selected to be non-invasive as well as to demonstrate a wider variety of plants than are typically seen in local landscapes. Plants requiring pesticides are avoided.
There are many benefits to landscaping with native plants, because native plants:
Are drought-tolerant, fully winter-hardy, and sustainable for generations without requiring frequent replacement, which is common for non-native, marginally hardy plants
Do not grow out of control and become a problem, like many non-native landscape plants
Provide wildlife food and habitat
Provide year-round interest
Require less irrigation, fewer pesticides, and little or no pruning