"In the Zone" label makes it easy for gardeners in southern Ontario to identify native
plants good for pollinators and wildlife
Toronto, April 06, 2019 - A new native plant tag, unveiled today by World Wildlife
Fund Canada and Carolinian Canada, makes it easier for gardeners in southern Ontario
to choose plants that are good for wildlife and the environment.
Developed in consultation with native plant growers as part of the In the Zone wildlife gardening program,
the new tag identifies plants that are native to southern Ontario's ecologically
threatened Carolinian zone, locally grown and ethically sourced.
Gardeners can purchase plants bearing the tag at the Go Wild Grow Wild Green Expo this
participating nurseries across southern Ontario later this month.
To join In the Zone and help grow Canada's biggest wildlife garden, visit IntheZoneGardens.ca.
Sarah Winterton, director of nature connected communities at WWF-Canada, says:
"What we plant matters. But it's hard to tell which plants are truly native without
common standards for sourcing and labelling. This new native plant tag, at participating
nurseries, helps gardeners identify plants that are native to southern Ontario,
where habitat loss – including the loss of native plants – has contributed to deep
wildlife decline. Southern Ontario is home to more at-risk species than anywhere
else in Canada.
"When gardeners choose plants with the In the Zone native plant tag, they can be
assured they're helping grow healthier landscapes for communities and for wildlife.
We hope the In the Zone plant tags will make native plants a more attractive option
for gardeners and inspire more people to look at their gardens and green spaces
differently: as potential habitats for bees, butterflies, birds and other wildlife."
Michelle Kanter, executive director at Carolinian Canada, says:
"A native plant tag is integral to our larger effort to help people grow Canada's
biggest wildlife garden across the Carolinian Zone. Together, we can create a network
of high-quality habitat for wildlife and climate-resilient, healthy communities,
as well as support green jobs in the native plant industry. Together, we can take
positive action to grow a green future, as we enter the United Nations Decade of
Why choose native plants?
- Help wildlife thrive: Most of Ontario's 243 species at risk are listed because of
habitat loss, including the loss of native plants and intense human development.
Native plants and wildlife depend on one another for pollination, habitat and shelter.
By choosing native plants, gardeners can help restore natural habitat and improve
- Create healthier landscapes: Natural habitat levels in southern Ontario must be
doubled to meet federal guidelines for healthy ecosystems.
- Climate and water smart: Native plants are specially adapted to local conditions,
can survive in drier conditions and are more resilient to climate change. By choosing
native plants, gardeners can help grow healthier landscapes for wildlife – and people,
- Global call for restoration: On March 1, 2019, the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration
was declared to massively scale up the restoration of degraded and destroyed ecosystems
as a proven measure to fight the climate crisis and enhance food security, water
supply and biodiversity.
What plants qualify for the In the Zone tag?
Plants bearing the In the Zone plant tag have been identified by conservation experts
as native to southern Ontario and are grown using locally and ethically collected
seeds. The standards are based on best practices and are voluntarily met by participating
Why is a native plant tag good for the native plant industry?
By raising the profile of native plants, the In the Zone tag will help increase
demand and strengthen support for growers in southern Ontario.
About In the Zone
In the Zone is a native plant gardening program by WWF-Canada and Carolinian Canada
that helps gardeners and businesses restore vital natural habitat for wildlife in
the ecologically unique Carolinian zone. Helping wildlife thrive one garden at a
About World Wildlife Fund Canada
WWF-Canada creates solutions to the environmental challenges that matter most for
Canadians. We work in places that are unique and ecologically important, so that
nature, wildlife and people thrive together. Because we are all wildlife. wwf.ca.
About Carolinian Canada
Carolinian Canada is a network of leaders growing healthy landscapes for a green
future in the Carolinian Zone, Canada's extraordinary far south. We bring together
science, community and business for innovative solutions for Ontario wildlife.