Sustainable Tips and Tricks is full of recommendations to help you integrate sustainable practices into your libraries and communities.

With winter coming to a end, it’s time to start thinking about your outdoor garden. Whether you’re planting at the library or at your home, it’s important to consider the sustainable benefits of using plants that are native to Central New York.

Why are native plants better for the environment and your garden?
Native plants are adapted to our local environmental conditions. Therefore, they require far less water, fertilizer, and pesticides than non-native species. Since they require less maintenance than other plants, you can put away those gas-powered gardening tools and lower your carbon footprint. Native plants also protect local biodiversity and help restore wildlife. Keep an eye out for birds and butterflies!

Where can you find plants that are native to Central New York?
​Habitat Gardening in Central New York ( has compiled a Native Plant Shopping Guide for our community. This guide lists native plants sold by a number of Central New York area nurseries. You can access the guide for free here:

​Another great resource to check out is the New York Flora Association (​). The organization has created a comprehensive plant atlas that provides information on plant habitats, ecological communities, and plant taxonomy throughout the state. The atlas also contains high quality images of native plants and trees to allow users to plan out their garden design.

Happy gardening!

The OCPL Sustainability Committee was formed: To increase the OCPL system libraries’ knowledge and understanding of sustainability issues. Identify strategic opportunities to integrate sustainability & provide support and guidance of OCPL libraries’ efforts to develop innovative practices that steward our environmental, human and financial resources, ultimately bringing that innovation to our communities.