News Tip

Vern Stephens of Designs by Nature LLC to Present on Planning and Design for Native Gardens

Not long joining the team at WCCD, I received a call from Vern Stephens. Vern introduced himself as owner of Designs By Nature LLC. He was reaching out to talk to me about offering more native plants at our distributions. For years the WCCD had been distributing a handful of species in our parking lot behind the USDA each Spring. Vern told me he worked with many Conservation Districts around the State to assist them with expanding their native plant offerings and wanted to help us do the same. Now several years later, we partner with Vern on offering over 50 species of wildflowers and grasses for pick up at the Native Plant Expo & Marketplace and have expanded our educational offerings related to native plants.

Vern obtained his bachelor’s degree in Zoology from Michigan State University and served for 21 years in the U.S. Air Force as a fighter pilot travelling around the world and the United States. Now Vern, his wife Susan and their son Zachary live on a 40-acre farm in Laingsburg where they operate Designs By Nature, LLC, a native plant nursery and native landscape consulting company.

Each year they work with conservation groups throughout Michigan hosting native plant sales and workshops. Vern was a member of the Wildflower Association of Michigan (WAM) and served on the board of directors for several years. Vern and Sue have over 30 years experience working with native plants and ecosystem restoration. They have consulted on projects throughout the state from home landscape design to university/corporate restoration and installation.

Vern retired from the Michigan DNR Wildlife Division as a Senior Wildlife Assistant where his work specialized in grasslands and invasive species management. Over the past five years, Designs By Nature has expanded with locations/partnerships in Grand Rapids - DBN West, South Boardman – Birdsfoot Native Nursery, Clio -DBN South and Marquette - DBN UP all bringing the same quality Michigan wildflowers and grasses as we have for over 25 years.

Join us Wednesday, February 17th at 2 p.m. for the Planning and Design for Native Gardens Webinar, presented by Vern Stephens. All attendees will have a chance to win a butterfly garden door prize from Designs by Nature! You must RSVP to attend.

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