2021 Winners

2021 Landscape Challenge Winners

We are pleased to announce the 2021 Landscape Challenge winners for WildOnes St. Charles Area: Kelly and Derek Joseph. The Josephs are native enthusiasts with a large yard perfect for a landscape design highlighting the beauty and use of natives that will be focused in the front yard area. The Landscape Challenge is a yearly undertaking sponsored by Grow Native!, the educational branch of the Missouri Prairie Foundation and by WildOnes Chapters across Missouri.

The Joseph family will soon be meeting with this year’s local landscape designer, Pat Mahon of Pure Air Nursery. Pat will work with the Josephs in the upcoming months to design the perfect front yard display and the Josephs will soon begin preparing their yard for plant installation, which will occur in late September, 2021.

Kelly and Derek Joseph have lived in their St. Charles home for four years. This is their first home, which is located in a typical suburban neighborhood on a 0.3 acre corner lot. The lot was previously landscaped using many ornamental non-natives (including some highly invasive species) such as Japanese maples, boxwoods, Callery pear trees, burning bush, Japanese honeysuckle, Chinese silvergrass, Japanese yew, and more. After reading Doug Tallamy’s Bringing Nature Home in Spring 2020, Kelly was inspired to improve their landscape and bring more wildlife to their yard. The first step was removing four mature Callery pear trees. Removing these trees opened up new areas to start a pollinator garden and add native trees and shrubs. Since removal of the pear trees, Kelly and Derek have added two Downy Serviceberries, a Northern Red Oak, Nuttall Oak, Eastern Redbud, Chickasaw plum, Arrowwood viburnum, three American Beautyberries, two spicebush, wild hydrangea, and approximately 50 species of native perennial plants.

Through Doug Tallamy’s aforementioned book, Kelly read about a Kirkwood, MO couple who converted their yard to natives and discovered the St. Louis Audubon Society’s Bringing Conservation Home Program (https://stlouisaudubon.org/bch/). The couple had their home evaluated by the program in October 2020, which helped immensely with prioritizing the removal of additional invasive species and offering native landscape design advice. Part of that advice included adding water sources for the birds and other wildlife. The Josephs have since added a water fountain, heated bird bath, and three other water sources throughout their property.

In addition to landscaping their own yard, the Josephs volunteered to plant and maintain native perennials in their neighborhood’s cul-de-sac roundabout in front of their home. Thus far, eight native species have been planted in the roundabout.

The winners plan to continue transitioning their yard to a native landscape and hope to inspire others in their neighborhood to do so as well.