Keep America Beautiful (KAB), its affiliates and partners are mobilizing Americans to bolster local ecosystems by planting native species of trees, shrubs and plants during its second annual National Planting Day on Saturday, Sept. 7.
Through National Planting Day, KAB is raising awareness about the importance of native species in restoring balance to local environments, while creating vibrant, more beautiful communities. Whether you are part of a citywide beautification program, a municipal leader, or a home gardener, you can participate simply by committing to use native species for your fall planting efforts.
“National Planting Day is a call to action designed to encourage people to plant natives at home, or to join a volunteer planting effort to beautify their community,” said Cori Rotter, senior manager, brand development, KAB. “It’s increasingly important that we focus on the planting of more ecologically appropriate, drought-tolerant native species.”
Native species are losing ground to suburbanization, fragmented habitats, ornamental plants and invasive species. Yet we know that natives are critical to attracting specialized pollinators and insects, which in turn provide food for birds and ultimately many more animals up the food chain. Native species provide ideal habitat for wildlife, are hardier, and require less water and ongoing maintenance than other ornamentals. This is an especially important benefit in light of this summer’s extreme temperatures in many parts of the country.
Special planting activities will take place in dozens of communities this fall. Contact your local Keep America Beautiful affiliate for details or register your event online.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s People’s Garden Initiative is also joining KAB in these efforts by calling upon the more than 1,900 People’s Gardens across the country to participate in National Planting Day. Communities that wish to be recognized for growing a “People’s Garden” are also encouraged to take part in National Planting Day by incorporating sustainable practices such as planting native species. The simple practice of planting natives provides one of the components of a People’s Garden and helps the environment by conserving water, protecting soil from erosion and providing habitat for wildlife. To learn more about the USDA’s People’s Garden Initiative, visit usda.gov/peoplesgarden.
The U.S. Composting Council is joining KAB in promoting National Planting Day by reminding the public of the importance of using compost when planting to provide essential organic matter to soils, adding vital water-holding capacity, helping soil retain nutrients longer, improving soil structure and supporting local organic recycling programs. Learn more about all things related to compost at compostingcouncil.org.