Native Roots Program

DPW Native Roots Sign

Davenport Loves Native Plants. Native plants are valuable in preventing stormwater run-off and pollution and are a great way to achieve a sustainable landscape. The Public Works Natural Resources Native Roots program is designed to recognize private-property owners who have incorporated native plant material into their lawn and landscape.  
Property owners who register their lawns in the program receive lawn signage to celebrate their urban conservation efforts and educate the community on urban conservation practices that help prevent stormwater pollution and provide habitat. 
What are Native Plants?  Native Plants are a population of plants (wildflowers, sedges, rushes, ferns, shrubs and grasses) within a defined geographic area that existed there without direct or indirect human introduction. In other words, native plants are plant species native to Eastern Iowa and made up the majority of the ground cover in this area before settlement. Past the more clinical terminology, the native plants that existed prior to settlement are deep rooted, fibrous plants that thrive in our local climate and ecosystem. They require less time, effort, chemicals and water to maintain and have the added benefits of soaking up rainwater, reducing stormwater run-off and providing habitat for birds, insects, mammals and other wildlife.
What plants are native to our area?   A great resource for selecting native plants can be found on the Iowa Living Roadway Trust Fund website.  You can also find a list of common plants native to our area in the Native Roots Application form. The brochure also identifies invasive plant species to be wary of. Invasive plants are those plants that were introduced to the area by humans and are resistant to or uninhibited by natural controls such as herbivores, parasites, disease and competition. These plants grow rapidly and can result in exclusion of native plants. 
How do I participate in the program? To register your lawn or landscape area for the program, complete and submit the Native Roots Program Application.   
Questions about this program and application?  Call the Natural Resources Department at 563.326.7923 or e-mail us at