Buy Local: Generation Native Plant Nursery

As Spring approaches, a nursery for native plants can be found just outside Amherst. Nichole Good, a certified Professional Soil Scientist and board member of the North Central Conservancy Trust, opened Generation Native Plant Nursery last year. The greenhouse and nursery offers a wide range of locally grown flowering plants (forbs), grasses, and sedges at 363 Cty. Rd. KK, Amherst.

A transplant to the area, Good told the Spirit that she started her business here because, “in a way, the plants themselves called me to do so. I began finding beautiful patches of native plants as I explored the Amherst area, and I wanted to help them spread.

“I first grew native plants as an intern at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, where I played a small role in an 18,000+ acre grassland restoration project and fell in love with prairie plants. I studied and worked in ecosystem restoration while earning my bachelor’s degree from UW-Stevens Point. In graduate school, I focused on soil science and earned my master’s degree from Cal Poly Humboldt (formerly Humboldt State University). Since 2015, I have worked at Sand County Environmental, Inc., a local environmental consulting firm, managing soil and groundwater remediation projects.”

After a few years of commuting to her Amherst job, Good said she had the opportunity to move to Amherst in 2019 and soon rented the land where her nursery is now located.

Balancing a full-time job with a new business can be challenging, Good said, “But walking into the greenhouse and seeing thousands of healthy plants waving in the breeze makes it all worth it. Last year, our customers added more than 3,000 native plants to the landscape by supporting Generation Native Plant Nursery!”

The work does have its own rewards, and Good said one memory that stands out “was when Paula O’Kray — author of the Spirit column “Lady Lovin’ Her Life” — came to buy plants. I recognized her from the paper and felt a little starstruck to meet her in person! The community-building aspect of running this business is so heartening.”

Good said that among her goals “are to make sustainably-grown native plants locally accessible and promote the widespread use of native species. I would love to grow even more types of plants such as native trees, shrubs, and wetland plants in the future.”

Renewable energy is the only type of energy Good uses at the greenhouse, growing her plants from locally and regionally sourced seed, nourishing them without fertilizers or pesticides, and packing them in biodegradable pots. She added that her 2024 plans include growing 65 species of forbs, grasses, and sedges.

“Native plants evolved in this landscape; in short, they belong here,” Good said. “Their life cycles are ecologically linked with indigenous animals and pollinators, and they are adapted to local soil and climate conditions. Native plants build soil, sequester carbon, feed pollinators and wildlife, restore ecosystems, and more. They are an integral part of the web of life around us. Interacting with native plants is a way to build a close, reciprocal relationship with nature.”

For those thinking of adding native plants to their landscaping, there are a handful of grant opportunities out there. For example, Good said that both Portage and Waupaca Counties offer Healthy Lake Grants that award landowners with property on the water up to $2,000 to add native plants to their shoreline. “Contact your local Land & Water Conservation department to apply,” she added.

While Good will hold Open House days throughout the growing season and sells her products at local farmer’s markets, she said that gardeners can also visit her greenhouse by appointment. The Open House days will be listed on her website at as well as on social media. “Native plant plugs will be available from approximately June 15 until September 15 or until sold out,” she added.

Good has a pair of upcoming presentations scheduled at area events.

The first is “Celebrating Native Plants and Biodiversity” at the Bucket Ruckus Resource Seminar and Celebration at 9:25 a.m. April 6 at 2041 Madison Street in Stevens Point.

The second is at “Native Plants and Pollinators” at the Jensen Center from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 28.

Both events are free and include additional educational presentations and kids’ activities

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