Certifications for Native Plant Gardens and Gardeners

Earlier this year I asked someone I assumed was authoritative if there were a LEED garden certification but was told no. However native plants (water wise plants in general) provide LEED points for facility certification. This is a gap in LEED that ought to be patched  – LEED should add extra points for natives, not just “natives and appropriate non-natives”.  Landscapes have a SITES certification, which is almost on target, but does not appear to give special consideration to native plants (“SITES prohibits the use of invasive plants and requires projects to have an invasive species management plan and to use an integrated pest management approach.”).

There are self-attestation certifications: The Theodore Payne Foundation has a sign (Think Global Plant Local) as does the CNPS (Native Plants Live Here).


Payne Foundation Yard Sign – https://store.theodorepayne.org/products/yard-sign-think-global-plant-local?_pos=2&_sid=12563dc41&_ss=r

The Homegrown National Park project offers a US and Canada self-attestation sign.

The National Wildlife Foundation offers garden certifications for food, shelter, and water for wildlife. A minimum percentage of native plants are required.

Theodore Payne has the only gardener “certification” that I know of, but it is for landscape professionals.  It’s offered in English and Spanish and has a good reputation.


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