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Movement Embraces "Native" Landscaping

Susan Bence

WUWM's Susan Bence brings us the story of native landscaping in the Milwaukee area and the remarkable woman who pioneered it.

Devotees of natural landscaping will be swapping suggestions – and perhaps a cutting or two – Saturday at Cardinal Stritch University.

Organizers hope the annual seminar will broaden interest in the concept – that "plunking" in plants native to their habitat – is neither a "purest" nor an "un-manicured" practice.

It encourages the biodiversity to which insects, birds and wildlife are connected.

Not only that, the deeply-rooted vegetation holds a lot of "rainwater sucking" capacity.  WUWM Environmental Reporter Susan Bence toured several "naturally oriented" yards and learned about the spirit behind them, the late Laurie Otto, founder of the organization, Wild Ones.

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Susan Bence entered broadcasting in an untraditional way. After years of avid public radio listening, Susan returned to school and earned a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She interned for WUWM News and worked with the Lake Effect team, before being hired full-time as a WUWM News reporter / producer.