NLCP is a state-wide program of all-day classes offered by the Native Plant Society of Texas to educate anyone interested in landscaping with native plants to improve the local environment, reduce use of irrigation, pesticides and fertilizers, and provide habitat in addition to creating a beautiful landscape. It is for homeowners, landscape professionals, developers, city and governmental professionals, and others in regulatory positions to value, preserve and introduce native plants and habitats in private and public landscapes. There is a reasonable fee for each class and on-line registration is required in advance. Classes are usually limited to thirty students and they fill up quickly. For information go to NPSOT.org and click on Education.
There are currently three levels of certification available with each level teaching about 50 plants appropriate for our local North Central Texas area with pictures, live and preserved plants samples, a walk to see them growing and a presentation. Each level also contains instruction on a landscape topic:
- Level 1 explains the reasons and benefits of using native plants and is a prerequisite for the other levels,
- Level 2 teaches how to design a landscape,
- Level 3 teaches how to maintain the 150 plants.
The NLCP is run completely by volunteers who administer, plan, schedule, setup, tear down, instruct, lead plant walks, grade tests, provide snacks and send detailed reports to the state NLCP coordinator. Instruction and plant walk leaders must have already completed the class but other volunteer tasks are open to all volunteers. Dallas usually hosts 3-4 classes a year in the spring and fall and they are also offered in Tarrant, Denton and Collin counties.