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Alabama Original: @NativePlantTok

@NativePlantTok is one of the latest, hottest accounts to hit TikTok "for you pages" across the country. The man behind it is right here in North Alabama.

Posted: Oct 15, 2021 3:01 AM
Updated: Oct 15, 2021 5:59 PM

Tiktok has taken off in popularity, including right here in North Alabama. Not only are people watching TikToks here, but making them, too!

@NativePlantTok is just one of the newest accounts to hit peoples 'for you pages' across the country.

Kyle Lybarger stands in a field of plants, some native to the area, in Morgan County.

Kyle Lybarger is the man behind the viral account with 2 million likes and more than 173,000 followers.

"I'm just a guy who's been saving these places on my own time," said Lybarger.

Kyle spends his days in and around his hometown of Hartselle, finding plants on the side of the road that you probably didn't even realize were there.

"There's a lot of really rare plants here that don't really exist anywhere else in Morgan County," said Lybarger.

So now, it's Kyle's mission to preserve those plants. Plants that can only be found here - in North Alabama.

"You don't hear about it because people don't know about it," explained Lybarger. "We hear about forests and saving forests all the time but people just don't pay attention and don't know that we have grasslands right here in North Alabama."

So, to spread the word, Lybarger started @NativePlantTok.

"I thought I was the only person in Alabama or North Alabama who cared about grasslands and ecosystems and saving rare species and things like that but a lot of people have reached out wanting to help," said Lybarger.

And that help that leads to initiatives like the Native Habitat Project.

"People wanted to help out and I didn't have a name for what I was doing," said Lybarger.

Now, Kyle accepts donations to get Native Habitat Project up and moving. He just started it a little over one month ago. It's goal is to preserve the native plants that are true 'Alabama Originals.'

"I just started knocking on people's doors and letting them know they had native plants or rare plants or intact grasslands and ecosystems growing outside of their houses or on the side of the road on their property so I just started doing that and asking them if I could manage it for them," said Lybarger.

Kyle does it all himself. Keeping North Alabama's native plants just that - native.

You can also find Kyle on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube. To donate to the Native Habitat Project, click HERE.

For all of WAAY 31's past "Alabama Originals," click HERE.

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