Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Dane County Land & Water Resources Department

Free Native Plants for Schools and Community Projects

Native plants have tremendous water quality benefits and increase habitat and food sources for pollinators. Because of this, the Dane County Land and Water Resources Department has started a native plant growing program to provide a source of free native plants to help schools and community groups in Dane County. These plants will be available in spring and fall each year. Spring plants are donated from community members through the Plant Dane! native plant program and fall plants are grown by local volunteers. 

Since the program began in 2016, more than 19,200 plants have been distributed to 100 different groups, including schools, neighborhood associations and community centers. Click on the button below for an interactive map of projects that have received plants from this program.

Find out how to apply to receive free plants (PDF) from this program. This is the application for our spring 2022 cycle. Applications are due February 1, 2022.


How to Volunteer

Anyone can volunteer for this program as long as you have some outdoor space available. Volunteers participate in a half day training in the fall to learn more about the program and how to grow native plants. The growing process takes place outside - no indoor growing lights or equipment is required. The volunteer grows and cares for the seedlings and returns them to us to distribute. We ask that the volunteer provide the potting mix if able. If you are interested in volunteering, email us and we will let you know when our winter workshop sign up is posted.