SNOW HILL – Native plant sale fundraisers have returned to Worcester County.
Through April 23, community members can pre-order native plants through the Lower Shore Land Trust’s 14th Annual Native Plant Sale. Purchased plants will be available for contactless curbside pickup at the nonprofit’s Snow Hill office on April 30 and May 1.
“There’s no come and browse,” said Executive Director Kate Patton. “With the concerns about the virus and not everyone being vaccinated, we thought it would be safest to do curbside pickup again this year. It was really popular last year, and we’ve had a tremendous amount of support, which is really encouraging.”
Patton said the annual plant sale is one of nonprofit’s largest fundraisers. She said money raised from sales and event sponsorship allows the Lower Shore Land Trust to offer programs and educate the public on topics such as native habitats, water quality and conservation throughout the year.
“We can’t do that without the support of individuals,” she said.
Additionally, the Assateague Coastal Trust is holding its 22nd Annual Native Plant Sale on Saturday, May 1. Online orders are now being accepted at actforbays.org with the online plant store offering a wide selection of native plant as well as vegetables and herbs. All sales must go through the website with pickup at the ACT office in Berlin on May 1. Once orders are placed, ACT will notify buyers of their personal pick-up times.
For the second year in a row, the Lower Shore Land Trust has opted to forgo its Delmarva Pollinator Festival, which is typically held in conjunction with the Native Plant Sale.
Patton, however, said the nonprofit hopes to educate the public on the benefits of native plants and pollinator gardens by hosting a Pollinator Garden Tour in June. The event will allow participants to tour 10 local pollinator gardens throughout the Lower Shore.
“We’ve chosen gardens that have been certified under our pollinator certification program …,” she said. “There will be opportunities to learn from people who have really gotten into their native landscaping.”
Patton said programs like the Native Plant Sale and Pollinator Garden Tour are important, as they teach community members about the importance of native landscaping and the habitat it provides to birds and insects.
“Seventy-five percent of land use across the country is in private hands. It means it’s up to private individuals to make sure we are doing the right thing in our yards and in our landscaping …,” she said. “If we’re not planting native species, if we’re not supporting the species that have evolved here for millions of years and provide one in three bites of food we eat, that trajectory is not good.”
This year’s Native Plant Sale features more than 75 varieties of native plants, perennials, shrubs, grasses and ferns.
Patton thanked this year’s sponsors – Ayers Creek Adventures, Baked Dessert Café and Goody Hill Sand and Gravel – for their support and encouraged anyone interested in sponsorship opportunities to email [email protected].
“This year with the Pollinator Garden Tour we are giving sponsors twice the exposure with both the sale and the pollinator garden tour event,” Patton said.
For more information on the Native Plant Sale, or to view the online order form and native plant guide, visit lowershorelandtrust.org or the plant sale’s Facebook event page.
“Planting native plants is something everyone can do,” Patton said. “Whether you put something in a pot on your deck, or plant a pollinator meadow, or reduce the amount of turf grass in your yard to support habitat, not only are you doing actions that will improve food for insects and birds, but also reducing the things that run off our yards and into our waterways and creeks.”