Meet the growers and more!


Grow La Crosse is excited to be adding some new plants to our plant sale this year.  Our growers will now include Joyce Cielecki and Michael Pelech from Driftless Area Natives. Driftless Area Natives is a native plant nursery in Trempealeau, Wisconsin. It started up in 2015 with the goal of providing quality native plants and education on sustainable landscaping practices.  Their 80 different varieties of plants are grown from locally sources seeds without the use of synthetic fertilizers. They put special emphasis on plants that attract pollinators and other beneficial insects. Driftless Area Natives also are sold at local farmers markets from early May through September and customers may also visit our home-based nursery by appointment.

Co-Owner, Joyce Cielecki, says this about her organization:

“The current urban landscape paradigm is to plant high-maintenance turf grass lawns, plant non-native (and often invasive) cultivars, and use synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.  Such landscape practices do nothing to help preserve or protect our environment, and the current paradigm is especially harmful to our native insects, pollinators, and other wildlife.  Our mission at Driftless Area Natives is to help people transform their landscapes into ones that are both beautiful for humans as well as being ecologically sound for the environment—landscapes that go beyond beauty and are ecologically functional, too.

With over 35 years of experience in horticulture, landscaping, education, and sustainable food systems, Mike and I know that the choices we make in our landscapes can have a great impact on our natural areas and ecosystems.”

Joyce has served as a Horticulture Educator for UW-Extension, as an instructor in the Landscape Horticulture Department at Western Technical College, and as the Biodiversity Educator for La Crosse County. She earned her Masters in Sustainable Food Systems from Green Mountain College in Vermont in 2015, where one of her favorite courses involved designing an on-farm insectary to attract beneficial and predatory insects using native plants. Mike earned his degree in Agronomy from UW-Madison and was one of the founders of the Northeast Wisconsin Organic Growers in the mid 1990s.  He operated a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, Homestead Farms, in Pulaski, WI for many years, and he also taught several courses on soils through the Lifelong Learning program at Western Technical College.

Congratulation Hintgen Elementary School

Great news for the community! Hintgen Elementary School recently received a grant for the start up of a new school garden. Grow La Crosse is excited to be working with them on this project. We are in the planning stages.
The La Crosse area continues to empower education and fuel the community with a sustainable future. For more information on the grant for Hintgen and the others awarded by the La Crosse Public Education Foundation.  Check out this and other grants here.

Hintgen also qualified for a matching grant.  This means if you donate to their project, the money will be matched by La Crosse Public Education Foundation.  Check it out here:

Get Involved

Summer and fall internship opportunities are here! We utilize volunteers for garden maintenance, education and taste test sessions, special events and more!



Check out our website for more details on the positions as well as requirements and a typical week’s itinerary:

Applications are accepted through details on the website under each position description.

Earth week is upon us!

Earth week is finally here! Grow works year-round to maintain a sustainable business, but earth week is the time where everyone gets to shine. This year, Grow is excited to be at the Myrick Park Earth Fair once again. The fair is happening the week after earth day—April 30th—so come by Myrick Park between 11-4 and check out the Grow Booth. Sign up for your chance to win free plants at the plant sale.

We need volunteers! If you’re interested in volunteering at our booth on earth day, sign up here.