Native Gardens, Natural Landscaping & Shorelines



need planning, but in Michigan, NCS is one of the only design-build firms that can take your thicket and make it beautiful on our own. We implement the native landscape designs, invasive species control, and wetland restoration plans we create. Our professional clearing, invasive species control, machine grading, habitat restoration and native plant/seed installation and maintenance are done by highly experienced crews utilizing their education in plant biology and the most current restoration techniques.  Many southeast Michigan yards and natural areas are overgrown with invasive-exotic species, such as Common Buckthorn and Reed Canary Grass. The overgrowth is due to lack of management and natural processes.  Invasive and weedy species pose a serious threat to our native plant communities as these non-native and aggressive invasive species lack natural mechanisms of control and consequently dominate a site.

Selective clearing and pruning allow sunlight to penetrate down to the under-story plants and soil.  Sufficient sunlight is essential to all native flora, enabling them to establish, flower, and most importantly reproduce.  When favorable conditions are maintained through regular stewardship and a disturbance regime re-established through mowing and burns our native plant communities again dominate the restored area.

Installation is also a necessary component to most restoration efforts.  In order to be successful, installations need to be conducted by experienced ecological restoration companies.  Whether it’s installing hard materials such as drain tiles, stone inlets, erosion control blanket, plant material such as trees, shrubs, live plugs or seeding for a new garden, wetland or habitat enhancement, every project is truly unique and uses our well-formulated plan of action.

Our team prepares the land and installs native plants and seeds using the highest quality flora from local, reliable sources. We work together with public and private landowners to convert high maintenance, low function, chemically intensive landscapes to limited maintenance, highly functional natural areas and native landscapes by offering solutions which have sustainable (LEED) components such as greenways, naturalized shorelines, aquatic, wetland and upland wildlife structures and habitat gardens, green stormwater infrastructure like retention basins, native prairie seeding, butterfly, pollinator, and rain gardens.

Native plantings are low-maintenance, but natural processes need facilitated maintenance, particularly in the first 3 years post-installation. NCS cost-effectively implements a best practices approach to stewardship, putting the project on a performance plan where we get together with our clients and determine success criteria based on an increasing number of native plants and decreasing number of invasive species. We work year-round to meet exceed the success criteria – making the project a success.

Some of our stewardship techniques include:

  • Monitoring

  • Mowing

  • Prescribed burn planning

  • Brush cutting

  • Applying herbicides

  • Hand-pulling weeds & edging

NATural shorelines…

Oakland County hand hundreds of lakes, and metro Detroit has thousands of ponds, streams, and rivers which are eroding from having poorly rooted lawn grass all the way to shore - but even 5 feet of native buffer helps prevent erosion and improve habitat and aesthetics!

Benefits of buffers:

•Reducing imperviousness and erosion

•Provide flood control

•Reducing pollution

•Minimize property damage

•Creates a habitat for wildlife

•Reduces lawn cutting and lawnmower emission

•Discourage geese from your yard

A riparian buffer is an area adjacent to a water body protected from human disturbances and thus is able to safe guard the water body from pollution and habitat degradation by planting native buffers. A riparian area can perform natural protective functions: filtering sediments, nutrients, and other contaminants; providing woody debris, temperature control. And light control for the adjacent aquatic habitat. NCS has the certified MI Natural Shoreline Professionals to create your buffer!

Vegetation Maintenance

To ensure our clients receive the highest quality service and technical expertise, out team members receive continuing education on the latest and most innovative techniques, and they draw upon our experience from proven management practices. Maintaining native landscapes, including erosion controls, mulch application, irrigation, mowing, weed control, and brush removal. requires an advanced understanding of habitat restoration plans and green infrastructure maintenance best practices. With TNC, & Greening of Detroit, NCS wrote the book on it! Our ecologists work with contractors, municipalities, developers, utilities, and other landowners. Our GPS/GIS capabilities provide the most accurate and technologically up-to-date information to our clients. .NCS is certified and licensed to perform herbicide applications in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio.

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