Native Plants Initiative

Sequoia Park Zoo Goes Native – Plants, that is!

 

 

Chorus frog on cascara leaf.

Sequoia Park Zoo is committed to supporting local biodiversity, and this begins with our plant choices. Native plants have evolved with local fauna for millennia, forming complex interdependent relationships that are the foundation of the world’s food web and biodiversity. California is considered a world biodiversity hotspot, with several recognized floristic provinces that overlap in Humboldt County, allowing an especially rich plant ecosystem to evolve. With ever-increasing human development and poor land management practices, most of our native plant landscapes have been fragmented and lost, resulting in a corresponding loss of plant and animal diversity. Planting natives in urban areas can help restore some of this lost biodiversity and ecosystem function.

Honeybee pollinating globe gilia flower (note blue pollen on bee!)

According to entomologist Douglas Tallamy in his book Bringing Nature Home, native plants support 35 times the biomass of specialized caterpillars than do aliens, and twice as much generalist insect biomass. Alien plants can even be toxic to local fauna, and many are attributed to diseases fatal to native plants. Aliens can also easily become invasive, outcompeting and ultimately eliminating native plants and the fauna they supported. Native plants have evolved locally without the need for fertilizers, pesticides or supplemental water, making these landscapes less expensive to maintain, more resilient to detrimental forces such as climate change – they are the essence of sustainability.

Starting in fall 2017, the Zoo began replanting our landscaping one section at a time, with a goal of converting 90% of species to plants native to Humboldt County. A few exceptions to this rule will include Asian bamboo for feeding the pandas, domesticated/edible plants in the Café garden and Barnyard, potted flowers, specimens that have interpretive value, turf grass for gathering lawns.

Red admiral feeding on checkerbloom. Photos by Monty Caid

You can join this important effort of conserving nature by planting native plants in your yard and garden, and encourage friends to do likewise. Even a few natives are better than none! Find native plants at local nurseries such as Samara Restoration Nursery on Dow’s Prairie Road, Lost Foods Nursery in Redwood Acres, and Pierson’s.

A special thank you to the Jalmer-Berg Foundation for its financial support of our Native Plant Initiative.

 

 

 

Related Links

 

Read City of Eureka’s Proclamation in recognition of Native Plant Week

 

Visit

Adults (13-59)  $10.00

Military (with ID)  $7.00

Seniors (60+)  $7.00

Children (3-12)  $6.00

Babies (0-2)  FREE

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Events & Classes

Dec
12
Wed
2018
6:30 pm Conservation Lecture #2 @ Flamingo Room, Sequoia Park Zoo
Conservation Lecture #2 @ Flamingo Room, Sequoia Park Zoo
Dec 12 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Conservation Lecture #2 @ Flamingo Room, Sequoia Park Zoo
Sloth with symbiotic microorganisms growing on its fur “Symbiosis and the Sloth” – presented by Maya Kaup, Master’s of Science Candidate at the University of Mississippi Maya Kaup is a Humboldt native who grew up at the Sequoia Park Zoo. … Continue reading
Dec
15
Sat
2018
11:00 am Family Nature Club -Wildlife in ...
Family Nature Club -Wildlife in ...
Dec 15 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
While temperatures drop and rain turns to snow, nature presses on through it all, and while we stay cozy and warm indoors the wildlife around us is changing with the seasons. Hibernate? Migrate? Tolerate? What would you chose? Join us … Continue reading

OUR MISSION: Sequoia Park Zoo inspires conservation of the natural world by instilling wonder, respect and passion for wildlife.