Implementing Nativescaping in Landscaping Policies at Central Washington University and the City of Ellensburg

Student: Savannah Fields (William O. Douglas Honors College)

Mentor: Allyson Rogan-Klyve


Lawns and cultivated landscapes have long been associated with success and the American dream in our culture. But these conventional landscapes are often not adapted to the area’s climate and cause problems with resource use, pollution, upkeep, and competing with local wildlife. Moving towards a sustainable future requires us to move past our current landscaping that tells an old story of viewing nature as separate from humans and something that needs to be contained. With the dramatic loss of our native ecosystems, and in response to projected changes in precipitation due to climate change, this project attempts to explain the process of changing landscaping policies to be cost-effective, and reduce water use and maintenance. Nativescaping is a type of landscape designed to use xeriscaping methods that coexists with the surrounding landscape by using native plants that require little water and techniques that efficiently use that water and reduces evaporation. This project provides insights on working closely with the City of Ellensburg and Central Washington University to change their current landscape policies to using nativescape techniques. This study will also serve as a guide for other cities and universities to implement nativescapes suited for their area. The ultimate goal is to cause people to care about their rapidly disappearing native ecosystem by introducing the concept that the natural environment is aesthetically pleasing for landscape use.


9 thoughts on “Implementing Nativescaping in Landscaping Policies at Central Washington University and the City of Ellensburg”

  1. Very exciting presentation! I would have liked to learn more about specific plants. Also, I’m wondering why you included two photos of native landscaping in England. Are those ecosystems similar to ours? Have planners in the UK been especially successful at introducing native landscaping? If so, what are some of the factors in that success? Are those factors applicable here? Why or why not? Well done!

  2. Cool stuff. I have a bunch of Gary Oak seedlings (our native oak) if you know of anyone that wants to plant a few.

  3. Katherine C Shogren

    Sav, I loved this presentation and your larger project. Where did you find native plants for Ellensburg, do you have a website or do you trust local nurseries? Where can I look to find native plants with which to nativescape my yard here in Bellevue? I would love to implement your ideas for Ellensburg, adjusted for zones.

  4. I liked this presentation so much, and would like to know if you would be available to present when the pandemic is over. Or, should you like to give a live Zoom presentation, I may have one or two venues in mind within this community. Please contact me if you are interested.

  5. Allyson Rogan-Klyve

    Fabulous work with this project and presentation. What a wonderful gift to CWU and the Ellensburg community.

  6. I can tell a lot of work went into this project. I love it and it makes so much sense. Thank you for the work and the great presentation

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