AP NEWS

Fairfield Nursery puts focus on native plants

May 9, 2018 GMT

Fairfield resident William Kenny is looking to offer a unique selection of plants for local landscaping that will also help the environment when Native plant nursery opens this weekend.

Kenny is opening the nursery on Friday at 2940 Redding Road, and will be selling an assortment of native plants that will not only beautify property, but offer residual benefits, as well. The business will be taking over the space of the former Stonewall Nursery, which closed late last year.

“We decided to open this native plant nursery so we can have more interaction with the public and get more native plants out into the landscapes and local habitat and fill a need that I think is out there,” Kenny said. “People have become more and more interested in sustainable landscapes, and your landscape can be both beautiful and sustainable and beneficial to local wildlife.”

The nursery will grow and sell a mix of trees, shrubs, ferns, wildflowers and grasses indigenous to New England, while offering customers an opportunity to learn about the personal and environmental benefits of using native plants in their projects.

“By making a decision to focus on Northeast (plants), we know we are limiting ourselves for potential sales, but it has an impact on the environment and local wildlife and water quality so it fits with our mission to help local habitat, water resources and landscapes,” he said.

Kenny encourages customers to ask about any aspect of native plants and how they will fit into their yard.

Kenny has been working in the industry in different capacities since he was 15, starting as a landscape contractor. He went on to study landscape architecture, branching into environmentally sustainable design, and later became a certified professional wetland scientist, a soil scientist, certified organic land care professional and registered landscape architect.

Now 53, he brings more than 30 years of experience in environmental planning and construction in the form of a landscape design business, William Kenny Associates, at 195 Tunxis Hill Road, which offers consulting services throughout southwestern Connecticut and New York.

Kenny said the Native nursery is the next step in diversifying his business.

“They are really closely related,” he said. “We are serving the same client and now providing an extra level of service and product. We are now just taking it to another level and expertise.”

Kenny, along with town officials, will celebrate the store’s opening weekend with discounts on plants and a series of talks on Saturday and Sunday.

Native will be open Tuesday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

jordan.grice@hearstmediact.com