News Release

Native Plant Masters and Colorado's Natural Landscapes

Department: Board of County Commissioners
Release Date: Feb 24, 2014


Karen Crumbaker, Agriculture/Natural Resources Extension Agent, CSU Larimer County Extension, (970) 498-6003,


People who would like to learn about the wildflowers of Colorado and native landscaping can take the Native Plant Master® course offered through Colorado State University Extension in Larimer County. Courses are taught outdoors at locations in Larimer County.  
Applications for the 2014 courses offered in Larimer County are due by March 15, 2014. For more information and to obtain an application, visit the CSU Larimer County Extension web page at or contact the Extension office at 970-498-6000. 
The Native Plant Master Program (NPM) offers courses that include 12 hours of field instruction in plant identification, the use of native plants in sustainable landscapes and the impact of noxious weeds. Participants learn scientific names, plant families and the use of a botanical key.  Courses are supported by a unique database of research-based information on more than 1,000 Colorado plants at
People are using what they learned in the NPM Program. Participants have gone on to create sustainable landscapes featuring native plants that require less water, fertilizer, pesticides and maintenance.  Such areas also provide food and shelter for wildlife and help preserve Colorado’s biological diversity. Participants learn about invasive non-native weeds that threaten Colorado’s wealth of natural beauty, wildlife and the economy. These benefits provide a win-win situation for the participants and for Colorado. One NPM participant stated, “In my private landscape design business, I have incorporated more native plants and communicated to my clients their unique benefits.” Another stated, “The knowledge has been extremely useful in my contact with the community in leading tours in natural areas. People are very interested in controlling and understanding the alien plants in the area.”