Multiple official entities have been signed ordinances proclaiming the week of April 19 to 23, 2021, as Native Plant Week, and those will be on display and shared during Earth Day Afterhours Thursday, April 22 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Pascagoula River Audubon Center.
This week is designed to recognize the importance of native plants in bird-friendly communities. Birds rely on native plants for food and shelter, especially after co-evolving with them for centuries. Non-native plants introduced into an ecosystem can pose as added competition for native species, and require more water and pesticides since they are not accustomed to the climate and soil of the environment.
Earth Day Afterhours will feature educational activities for children and adults, crafts, snacks and a cash beverage bar. A tree planting in memory of Jackie McDonald will also be part of the evening’s activities.
Resolutions signed by the Mississippi State Senate, the Mississippi State House of Representatives, the Jackson County Board of Supervisors and the Moss Point Board of Aldermen all use wording that native plants provide important, aesthetic, economic and ecological contributions that make Mississippi a special place to live.
When planting in outdoor spaces, consider using native plants instead of invasive species; doing so not only helps conserve water and support biodiversity, but also saves time and money in maintenance.
Having just finished its third annual Spring Native Plant Sale, the Pascagoula River Audubon Center is doing its part to provide native plants and education to the local community.
“After the extreme cold winter we had, many past customers reported that the native plants bounced back well,” said Susan Stachowski, manager at the PRAC. “Many of the non-native plants in the landscape didn’t fare as well.”
A Vibrant Communities grant from Chemours has been a huge boost to the native plant programming at PRAC, and thanks to a trailer donation from E3, PRAC staff has been able to take plants to other communities for pop up sales.
Visiting the Center provides guests an opportunity to see how the native plants look in the landscape. Many of the native species of trees are planted around the 10-acre site, and a demonstration garden features the flowering perennials that are available for purchase. Native plant purchases are available while supplies last onsite or online at Pascagoula.audubon.org.