The campaign is really taking off – and we need your help! Spring is particularly busy. Please lend a hand if at all possible. Details are below.
Cut-and-paste newsletter article at the end of this update. Please submit it to any newsletter or social media outlet you can. NextDoor.com is particularly valuable. Last month’s article got as many “hits” from a single NextDoor posting as from all of Facebook. The “NextDoor” audience includes everyone, not just people who are the friends of environmentalists. Send to your wider community but personalize your message so people know it is from a neighbor.
Next big event - this Saturday. 9-3 pm.
Re-vision your Garden to Support Wildlife. Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax. Speakers, Hometown Habitat showing, exhibits, crafts and nature walks for kids.
New NOVA native plant search app
Quick look-up of 270 garden-worthy Northern Virginia plants. Search by
· Plant category
· Wildlife value
· Soil type
Information about deer browsing is included (when available – we are working on expanding this section) as well as design function, gardening tips, and more details about wildlife associations.
Plant NOVA Natives Store
We have consolidated “stuff to buy” on our website onto one page.
· Native Plants for Northern Virginia
· CafePress store (book bags, mugs, bumper stickers, etc)
· Signs.com store (yard signs)
The Friends of Oakton Library have led the way with their exhibit. Ask your local library – they are very likely to be able to lend you their exhibit case for a period. We can help you organize the materials.
New Edition of Native Plants for Northern Virginia is coming.
We expect delivery of a few thousand copies by April 21. (Meanwhile, supplies are low).
Meme of the month
(Thanks to Kirsten Buhls and Sue Dingwell)
Copy/paste into social media.
Many volunteers are needed for spring events - No experience necessary! Please sign up here.
Screenings of Hometown Habitat (Could you plan a screening of your own?)
· March 25 - The Unitarian Universal Congregation of Fairfax 1 pm.
· March 31 - Walker Nature Center.7 - 9 pm 11450 Glade Dr. Reston, VA 20191 RSVPs required - limited seating available. Call (703) 476-9689 or visit www.reston.org to reserve a space.
· April 6, 7:00 pm - Alexandria Beautification Commission Lee Center, 1109 Jefferson St. Alexandria
· April 19 - Crossroads United Methodist 7-8:30
· April 26, 7:00 pm - Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington. Click here for details.
· April 29 - Northern Alexandria Native Plants Sale with Hometown Habitat showing.
Other events (We need volunteers to table at many of these.)
· April 8 - Merrifield Spring Garden Party (Gainesville) 11-3
· April 15 - Spring Garden Tour in Arlington Forest
· April 21 - Greenspring Retirement Community Earth Day 11-3
· April 21-22 - Horticultural Society plant sale
· April 22 - Jamestown Elementary Earth Day 9:30-2:30
· April 22 - Burke Centre Earth Day 10-1
· April 25 - NVCC Green Festival 9-4
· April 25 – School Environmental Action Showcase 9-2:30
· April 29 - Prince William Compost Awareness Day 10-2
· April 29 - Alexandria Earth Day 10-2
· May 6 - Reston Association Spring Festival 1-5
· May 7 - Huntley Meadows Wetlands Awareness Day 12-4
· May 7 - Earth Sangha native plant sale
· May 20 - Spring Garden Day Green Spring Gardens with VNPS plant sale 9-3
· May 12 and 13 - Save the Monarchs – Corridors for Pollinators planting project in a Centreville utility right of way.
· May 20 - Mason Neck State Park Eagle Festival 10-6
This month’s newsletter article –
Please reprint this articles on social media and in any newsletter you can – work, faith community, HOA, club, etc. Or link to it on our blog, which includes the previous articles in this series.
Turn Your Yard into a Wildlife Sanctuary…Plant Native Species
by Jessica Bowser
The seasons are changing, the temperature is rising and homeowners are cleaning up their yards and making plans for improvements in their landscapes and gardens. The plethora of plant options at the garden centers can seem overwhelming and there are many factors to consider to ensure that the plants you choose will survive and thrive in your yard without intensive maintenance. There is an option that will add beauty and sustainability to your yard, attract wildlife, positively impact the environment and is easy to maintain…Native plant species.
Native plants are perfectly adapted to our local environment. They will thrive in our soil conditions without needing special fertilizers, pesticides or extensive watering. They are hardy plants that will last once they are established in your yard and will attract birds, butterflies and other pollinators for years. Native plants have colorful blossoms, berries and bright foliage throughout the seasons.
The natural beauty of native plants raises property value, conserves water and will make your yard attractive for years to come, but that’s not all. Native plants do more than save you time and money. They are good for the environment too.
Development in Northern Virginia has eliminated many natural areas with plant species that are needed to maintain a healthy ecosystem. Non-native species have been introduced that interrupt the natural cycle, including invasive plants that can destroy ecosystems. Insects, birds and bees all rely on native plants for food and habitat. Planting native species in your yard will contribute to the restoration of our delicate ecosystem while supporting our environment. Your yard can become a sanctuary for pollinators and other wildlife!
Ready to get started? Plant NOVA Natives is a local organization that promotes and supports the planting of native species. Their website has everything you need to help you choose the right species for your yard. They also provide information on garden centers and local native plant sales. Are you looking for personalized support? Plant NOVA Natives has partnered with organizations such as Audubon At Home, who will come to your home at no charge and help you choose plants that are well-suited to your yard.
Native plants are the best choice for a sustainable, low maintenance and beautiful yard. Enjoy the many years of natural habitat and wildlife it will bring to your home!