Murfreesboro Indigenous Plant Project (MIPP)
An Initiative of Outdoor Murfreesboro's Natural Resource Division
Working to promote the conservation, preservation, and landscape use of native plants of Rutherford County and the Inner Central Basin of Middle Tennessee.
Our small, 1/2 acre nursery began like any good endeavor: a need for finding something of worth that wasn't readily available. In our case, it was a desire to have plants that are native to Rutherford County as well as plants that are not derived from over-cloned mother plants, or come from other parts of the country outside of the southeast. We wanted regionally derived plant material that we could feel good about planting in our parks. So we decided to grow our own. Currently, 50% of the plants grown are from seed collected in Rutherford and Wilson counties. The others are grown from seed purchased from reputable native seed companies. It is our goal that in the next 3 years, we will be growing 100% wild collected seed from Tennessee and surrounding regional neighbors.
You can help make that goal a reality. If you have habitat on your property, if you like taking long drives in the country and don't mind stopping along roadways to collect seed, or if you want to be a part of a larger conservation movement to preserve our disappearing native plant species, volunteer with us.
The Natural Resource Division is installing the native plants we're growing throughout parks as part of our mission to restore and rehabilitate degraded natural areas. Invasive species, pollution, overuse, and a history of disturbance has created suboptimal conditions for our native species. Installing native plants ensures that the animal species that live here have the nutrients they need from the plants they have grown up with and adapted to over many thousands of years.
Some of our current projects include:
- an almost 200 native plant installation on the bank at Murfree Spring.
- an 80-plant install in the Wilderness Station demonstration gardens at Barfield Park.
- Additionally, we are growing plants to provide regionally appropriate native plants for citizens to purchase and utilize in their home landscape. These plants will be available at our twice annual Spring and Fall plant sales, usually hosted at the Wilderness Station at Barfield Park.
MIPP-grown native plants provided to area residents for home landscapes:
|Year||Native Plant Sales||Give-Away Day*|
*End-of-season surplus nursery plants
As we continue to grow and work in our natural areas, the MIPP project will provide us with the plants we need to re-create our lost habitats and improve our existing ones.
Ways to Help
It takes many hands to run a plant nursery. We couldn't do it without our volunteers and the support and encouragement we receive from our community.
There are many ways you can be involved:
- Volunteer From nursery care to cleaning seeds, volunteers keep us successful. Sign up for specific events or just let us know your interests and we'll contact you when we have an upcoming event we think you might enjoy. Learn More
- Collect seeds from desirable species on your property for us to grow in our nursery. (See below)
- Landscape with native plants We can help you figure out what species would do well in your yard. MIPP Plant Guide on iNaturalist
- Don't grow invasive exotic plant species As big box chains and nurseries continue to sell exotic invasive species, it is more important than ever that true native plant species become more widely available.