In July, 2019, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed legislation designating April as Ohio Native Plant Month. Ohio was the first state in the U.S. to institute an entire month recognizing the importance of native plants. In 2023, a special native plant proclamation was approved by Governor DeWine that reinforces the importance of maintaining native plants in Ohio.

Ohio’s Special Native Plant Proclamation

Ohio’s Special Native Plant Proclamation

Dianne Kadonaga

Dianne Kadonaga

Dianne Kadonaga, a master gardener volunteer in Columbus, has been an active proponent for self-sustaining gardening for many years. She initially channeled her passion into transforming her own central Columbus backyard into a self-sustaining permaculture forest garden. As she realized that friends and neighbors in her own community lacked access to fresh foods and vegetables, her personal garden journey grew into a community-wide gardening and educational effort: Sunny Glen Garden.

Today, Dianne is a native plant garden consultant and educator and a pollinator specialization advocate. Dianne also founded the Connecting Community Corridor for People, Pollinators, and the Planet (CCC for PPP), a hyper-local, eco-conscious community formed to reduce transportation barriers and to facilitate community sharing of garden equipment, seeds, plants, and produce. The CCC for PPP initially received grant funding to donate native plants for endangered pollinators to 45+ homes and businesses in Dianne’s community. Those receiving plants agreed to grow organically and leave stems, plant leaves, and dead seed heads untouched over the winter to serve as food, nesting sites, and habitat for wildlife. Dianne is making such great strides in creating sustained environments that support pollinators, moths, butterflies, and caterpillars!

Dianne's central Columbus backyard

Sunny Glen Garden will be holding a native plant sale on Saturday, May 18, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The sale will feature native plants for moths and their caterpillars, as well as other ecologically beneficial native plants. Sunny Glen Garden relies on charitable and grant funding as well as proceeds from events like these to support its important mission.

Dianne showing off a giant ball of seeds from the garden

Find out more about the Sunny Glen Garden native plant sale:

Follow Sunny Glen Garden on Facebook:

You can help OAF provide grant funding to organizations like Sunny Glen Garden! Find out how you can help on our website:

Did You Know? Dianne shares some native plants fun facts!

  • Hope Taft, former Ohio Governor’s First Lady, was instrumental in advocating for native plants during Bob Taft’s time as Ohio’s Governor. First Lady Taft set up seven native gardens at the Governor’s mansion, representing the seven geographical areas in Ohio.
  • Pollinator gardens can help specialist bees. Unlike generalist bees that can feed on the pollen of a wide range of plants, specialist bees can feed on only one specific host plant or species.
  • Native plants not only help caterpillars turn into moths or butterflies, but they also help sustain caterpillars as an important part of the ecological food chain – birds require thousands of caterpillars to feed their young.