Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Ripple Effects

Plant Dane Native Plant Program

Native Plantings and Rain Gardens have Ripple Effects on our Waters 

Plant Dane logo

Convert some of your lawn into a native garden this spring. Not only are native plants beautiful, but they provide important ecosystem services such as habitat for pollinators and wildlife and improved water quality. Native garden act as sponges helping rainwater to soak into the ground preventing stormwater runoff from draining into our lakes, rivers and streams.

Order Plants

The order period of for 2022 Plant Dane native plant orders and donations has ended. 2023 orders will be accepted in Feb. 2023.

The Plant Dane Program provides Dane County residents access to native plants at the discounted price of $2.50/plant, about half the normal retail price. It's open to schools, non-profit organizations (lake and neighborhood associations, youth groups, faith centers, clubs, etc.), municipalities and individual residents in Dane County, Wisconsin.

The order process is simple:

  1. Review the  2022 Plant Dane Native Species List and make notes of which you'd like (esp. their Latin name, as this is how they are listed on the order form).
  2. Once you know what species you want, place your order using the Plant Dane Order System. NOTE: Plants must be ordered in multiples of four (4, 8, 12, 16, etc...), so when you enter "1" on the order form, you will get four plants; eight plants when you enter "2" and so on. Pre-selected plant garden kits come in flats of 16 or 32 depending on the type of kit and cost $36 for 16 plant kits and $72 for 32 plant kits.  All orders must be paid for at time of purchase using a credit card. 
  3. Participants must pick up plants on their assigned pick up date- May 21st  (8-11AM) for first 15,000 plants ordered and May 25th  (4-7PM) for subsquent orders. May 21st Pick Up Location- Dane County Land and Water Resources Dept. Office, 5201 Fen Oak Drive, Madison, WI. May 25th Pick Up Location- Dane County Parks Building, 4212 Robertson Rd., Madison, WI . Please arrange to have a relative, friend or neighbor pick up plants if you aren't available.

2022 Plant Dane Native Plant Order Schedule

Feb. 1 - Native plant order period opens

Mar. 22 - Last day orders with payment will be accepted

May 21 (8-11AM) - Plant Pick Up Date for first 15,000 plants ordered.  Plant orders must be picked up at the Dane County Land and Water Resources Dept. Office, 5201 Fen Oak Drive, Madison, WI.

May 25 (4-7PM) - 2nd Plant Pick Up Date, if needed- If more than 15,000 plants are ordered, subsequent plant orders will be assigned the May 25th pick up date. Dane County Parks Building, 4212 Robertson Rd., Madison, WI.

Helpful Resources

Donate Plants

The donation period for the Free Native Plants for School and Community Projects Program has ended. Please check back in Feb. 2023 for a new list of projects to donate to.

Dane County Land and Water Resources Dept. is accepting donations to provide native plants for community and school projects through our Free Native Plants for School and Community Projects Program. Consider a donation to purchase plants that support a local community/school native garden project. It’s easy, just click on DONATE (not currently available), select a project from the pull down menu and the number of plants you wish to donate. Plants donations must be made in set of 4 (4 plants ($10), 8 plants ($20), 12 plants ($30)….). The cost of plants will simply be added to your order total. Plant donation recipients will select the plants from species list that best suit the needs of their specific project. Deadline to donate is March 22nd.

                                        2022 Plant Dane Donation Projects (Spring Cycle)

 Project Location


# of Plants Requested

Aldo Leopold Community Elementary School- Fitchburg Adding plants to an existing rain garden to complete the garden and add additional species variety. They will also be installing some landscaping rocks and an educational sign to help their community learn more about rain gardens.  32
CH Bird Elementary School-Sun Prairie Creating a pollinator garden at CH Bird School as a tribute to a former teacher who recently passed.  This new garden will be used by students and staff at the school. 120
City of Sun Prairie Parks Adding natives to parks areas that are seasonally wet or dry and difficult to mow. The goal is to replace the turf to create resources for pollinators, seeds and refuge areas for wildlife. This will also reduce the area staff need to mow. Signs will be installed in these areas to teach users about the benefits of native plants. 60
Countryside Montessori Preschool-Madison Adding to an existing pollinator garden that was started in fall 2021. The garden will be used to educate students at the preschool. 20
Crestwood Elementary School- Madison Restoring a space that was filled with invasives near the edge of the woods near the school.  4th grade students have documented plants there, will assist with the planting and collect data throughout the restoration process. Some plants will also be used for a butterfly garden at the school. 120
Dane County Humane Society- Madison Continuing habitat restoration work using native plants at the Dane County Humane Society property that was previously a wetland. Plants will also be in used the parking lot islands to decrease runoff from the site. 172
First Unitarian Society -Madison Adding to existing native gardens that attracts many visitors walking on University Bay Drive.  200
Friends of Atwood Prairie- Madison Adding natives to existing prairie to increase plant diversity. This prairie is along the bike path and very visible to the public. Pictures of blooming flowers planted in the prarie are posted at the kiosk near the path to help educate the public about the importance prairie plants. 52
Friends of Cam Rock Park-Cambridge Adding native plants at the four bridges that cross Koshkonong Creek in Cam Rock County Park. The plants will help hold soil along the creek and prevent erosion. 100
Friends of Generation Park- Sun Prairie Installing native plants at the park in an area recently cleared of weeds. The plants will help prevent weeds from moving back in and diversify the plant species at the park. 252
Friends of Kenosha Greenway-Madison Planting natives to replace area that was overgrown with invasive species. This area is a high traffic area used by all the neighbors during their daily walks. 200
Friends of Merrill Spring Park-Madison Planting natives in three areas at the park: a forested area, along the stream and along the shores of Lake Mendota. The goal is to hold the soil in place and prevent erosion along the steep areas near the entry to the park and along the water. The group plans to works with students from Spring Harbor Middle School on this project. 144
Friends of Pheasant Branch-Middleton Expanding the park’s native plant propagation garden. The garden serves as a seed source for prairie restorations at the Conservancy and throughout Dane County Park System as well as an educational resource for the community.   512
Glenn Stephens Elementary School-Madison Expanding the front portion of the original Stephen's School Garden which was created before the outdoor classroom was established. Students will engage in learning about native species, have the opportunity to plant the seedlings, and participate in caring for the plants as they grow.  40
Goodman Community Center- Madison Replanting a rain garden that was recently destroyed at the community center. The plants will be planted and cared for by the after school and summer camp youth. 152
Holy Wisdom Monastery- Middleton Converting two lawn areas at the monestary to native gardens. 128
Jacobsen Wetland Conservancy/Marshall Park Middleton Replacing large area north of the soccer fields that was previously  overrun by invasive buckthorn with native plants. This area is visible by those using the park and nearby bikepath. 100
Kromrey Middle School - Middleton Adding native plants to exisiting rain gardens at Kromrey Middle School. The Friends of Pheasant Branch are working with 6th grade science teachers to provide a hands on experience to teach about rain gardens and how they protect Pheasant Branch Conservancy. 76
La Follette High School Green Club- Madison Transforming  inner courtyards at La Follette High School into educational gardens where students can learn about native plants and pollinators. 200
Lake View Community Elementary School- Madison Expanding a pollinator garden at the entrance to the Lake View School Forest. The School Forest is used by students at Lake View throughout the year and the students will assist with the planting. 24
Liberty Land Park- Deforest Planting a small pollinator garden to attract pollinators and  educate park visitors about the benefits of native plants. The Village of DeForest will also add an interpreative sign.  28
Lindbergh Elementary- Madison Converting half an acre of manicured lawn to woodland/prairie as a trial before transitioning other manicured lawn on their 12 acre property.  200
Lussier Family Heritage Center- Madison Expanding the Prairie Learning Center near the Lussier Family Heritage Center facility and the new solar shelter.  Both locations are popular and visible by center visitors
as well as those who use the Capital City State Trail and Lower Yahara River Trail.  The plants will enhance the floral resources in our Monarch Waystation.
Madison Area Food Pantry Gardens - Forward Garden-Verona Planting a pollinator garden to help stabilize the soil and serve as a teaching tool for students from Pope Farm Elementary School to help youth understand the integral role that pollinators play in the success of any diversitfied farming operation.   100
McDaniel Park- McFarland Replacing non-native grasses and weeds that have appeared along the shores of Lake Waubesa at McDaniel Park with a native garden. This garden will help a boy scout from Troop 132 (Madison) fufill his Eagle project requirements. 1000
McFarland High School Eco Club-McFarland Converting lawn  area in the courtyard of the school to a pollinator garden and a rain garden. This project will be completed by the Eco Club and will be used by the Environmental Science, Photography, Art and Creating Writing classes at the school. 80
Neighbors of Dixon Greenway-Madison Expanding natie plant garden on the greenway to enhance pollinator and butterfly habitat. This area that was overrun with invasives and the neighbors have been  working for several years to convert it to a native garden for all to enjoy. 120
Operation Fresh Start-Madison Adding native landscaping around their office building on Milwaukee Street. This would be visible to the public and would provide a learning opportunity to OFS participants in their Legacy program. 60
Schenk Elementary School-Madison Creating an outdoor classroom by adding native plants with bilingual plant signs so that all students may learn about the world growing around them. Schenk will be using these native plants as part of its outdoor-based Science in the Garden curriculum. 100
St. John's Lutheran Church-Madison Creating a native garden to surround the a new Little Library and Food Pantry at the entrance of the church for the community to use.  16
Sun Prairie Park Friends- Vandenburg Heights Park Creating a new pollinator garden at Vandenburg Heights Park. The friends group planted a successful pollinator gardens at Wetmore Park and will follow the same process at this location. Educational signage will be added to help park users identify plants and understand the benefits of natives. 160
Token Creek Conservancy- Windsor Expanding a native plant garden near the creek at the northern edge of Token Creek Conservancy. Native plants along the creek help protect the creek which is a largest single source of water to Lake Mendota. 200

Grow Plants

Volunteer with the Dane County Land & Water Resources Department to grow native plants for schools and community groups that are interested in incorporating native plants but may not have the budget to purchase them. Dane County will provide seeds, seed trays, a how to guide, training, and will distribute the plants.

Learn More

Apply for Free Plants

The application period for the summer cycle of the Free Native Plants for School and Community Program has ended. Applications for the spring cycle will be available in December 2023 . 

The Dane County Land and Water Resources Dept. has a limited supply of free native plants that are available for use in school or community projects within Dane County that benefit water quality and education. Plants for the fall cycle are grown by volunteers. Plants will be available for pick up in late summer. To find out more about the program please visit the program website. The program can also help provide seeds and supplies to teachers that would like to grow plants with their students.