Welcome to Kalamazoo Area Wild Ones

Our vision is to restore and sustain biodiversity through education and the practice of landscaping with native plants

illustration of soil with vegetables growing in it and words "where food begins"

Healthy Soils Lead to Healthier Food and a Healthier Environment

with Mike Klug, Professor Emeritus, MSU

Wednesday, Sept 27
7 pm, Portage District Library
social time begins 6:30 pm

glass of beer against a yellow flower background

Pints & Native Plants

hosted by Quyen Edwards, Mike Weiss, and Mel Luna, KAWO

Thursday, October 19
7 pm, Brewery Outré
567 E Ransom St
carpooling encouraged

When is Natural Landscaping Truly Natural?

with Tom Small, Professor Emeritus, WMU

Wednesday, Oct 25
7 pm, Portage District Library
social time begins 6:30 pm

Volunteer with KAWO. Lots of ways to get involved!


Our Purpose – Your Importance

Native plants are part of our rich natural heritage here in Southwest Michigan. The Kalamazoo Area chapter of Wild Ones was established to help inform, educate and offer resources to people interested in learning about native plants. There simply isn’t enough protected or potentially protectable land to depend on its saving our birds, mammals, amphibians and insects, including pollinators.

You can make a difference—no matter the size of your yard
“Whether you live in the city or the country, on a small lot or a large property, you can help preserve the biological diversity of southwest Michigan by reducing the size of your lawn (or eliminating it entirely) and replacing it with native plants. These plants, as opposed to non-native ones, support the herbivorous insects on which all other wildlife—and we ourselves—directly or indirectly depend.”

You can make a difference—by making simple changes
“By planting a diverse assortment of native trees, shrubs, wildflowers and grasses in your yard, you’ll be doing your part to replace the vast amount of habitat that has been lost to development or destroyed by invasive non-native plants. You’ll be helping to slow the rapid extinction of species already under way and providing protection for the plants and animals of our region against the coming rigors of climate change, with its increased temperatures and scarcity of water.”

bumble bee on purple flower
Yellow bumble bee (Bombus fervidus) on wild bergamot. photo by N. Nickson

You can make a difference—and you can see it
“For using native plants to supply food and shelter for wildlife, you’ll be richly rewarded right away. Your yard will come alive with butterflies and birds, which—along with the constantly changing spectacle of the plants themselves—will provide a year-round source of interest and drama. You and your family will be drawn ever closer into a rich and satisfying relationship with nature.”

” ” as articulated by Nancy Small, co-founder of KAWO

Learn more about the importance of native plants at

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