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Bring on the wildflowers in May

WildflowerspicWhen: May 5 – 11, 2014

What: Spring is officially here, and although many of us are still cold, bursts of color around gardens and parks will soon be visible, giving us a sign that better weather is on the way. Celebrate wildflowers and other native plants the first week of May during National Wildflower Week.

Background: Established in 1988, National Wildflower Week was first held by the American Wildflower Society. In 2002, National Ecology Commission chair Charles Spencer made the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, a botanical garden near Austin, Texas, the celebration’s official home.

Story Pitch: The goal of National Wildflower Week is to spread awareness of the value of natural plants, as well as ways to protect them. Wildlife conservation groups are a natural fit for this event and can team up with educators to promote the benefits of wildflowers. Workplaces and organizations that would normally not be involved in the outdoors can take this chance to get some fresh air and give to communities by planting native species and uprooting invasive ones. Garden centers and professional landscapers can also pitch around this event by demonstrating how wildflowers and other native plants require less maintenance, while also sharing their methods for helping clients get started with them.

Story Hook: Nationally, native wildflowers and plants are in danger of losing their habitat to invasive species. What can gardeners and landscapers do to preserve native plants? How are local and state organizations involved in wildlife preservation? Keep the following in mind when making your pitch:

  • What are the benefits of a garden that only uses native plants?
  • What is the economic impact of supporting native plants and reducing invasive ones?
  • How can people and organizations support local parks and wildlife preserves?
  • What relationship do native plants and state agriculture have?

Tips: Provide contact information for a local botanist and park ranger who can speak about the role wildflowers and native plants play in the region.

Resources:

Center for Plant Conservation
(314) 577-9450
cpc(at)mobot.org
www.centerforplantconservation.org

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
(512) 232-0100
www.wildflower.org/nww

National Invasive Species Information Center
(202) 720-2791
invasive(at)ars.usda.gov
www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov

United States Forest Service
(800) 832-1355
www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers

 

 

 

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