GODFREY - Did you hear? The Monarch butterfly has been put on the endangered species list. They have been listed as endangered due to the lack of high-quality habitat available as they migrate in the spring and fall. By adding a few native plants to your yard, you can help to make it a refuge for visiting wildlife. This year at The Nature Institute’s Wildflower Market, many species of flowering plants will be available for purchase. All of these plants will help make your yard a habitat hotspot for pollinators like the Monarch.
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The Nature Institute (TNI), located in Godfrey, IL, has provided the community with native plants at its annual plant sale since the year 2000. On Saturday, August 27, 2022, from 9 am to 12 pm, TNI and Lewis and Clark’s Restoration Ecology Program will provide many species of native plants to the community at its annual Wildflower Market. The Wildflower Market will be located at TNI’s greenhouse at the corner of Levis Lane and South Levis Lane.
The Nature Institute will also provide plants for online purchase to anyone that cannot attend the in-person market. The online sale will open on August 19, 2022, and will stay open for 3 weeks, or until all plants have been purchased. Using the online plant sale link, which can be found on TNI’s website, you can make your plant selections and choose a pickup date and time. Invoices will be sent and must be paid before plants can be picked up by the purchaser.
While many plant sales in the area occur in the spring, native plants can be planted and will thrive in the summer and fall. In fact, natives planted in the fall are able to develop a stronger root system. New plantings will require some water, especially after several dry days in a row, but once they are established, they will be happy in the hot dry summer weather of the Midwest. Native plants require less water than non-native ornamental plants. Because native plants are adapted to local soil types, the addition of compost and fertilizers is not necessary. Further, native plants have co-evolved with insect herbivores and can grow despite light to moderate insect damage without the use of insecticides. More benefits to wildlife and less maintenance makes native plants perfect for any yard. Once you have established a plot of native plants, they will sustain themselves through reseeding without much effort on your part.
The showy flowers of native plants provide nectar and pollen to butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds throughout the growing season. In spring, songbirds feed their babies the insects collected from the native plants in your yard. After native plants have bloomed, birds and other wildlife rely on the seeds of native plants as a source of food in the fall and winter months.
For more information about TNI’s Wildflower Market, visit www.TheNatureInstitute.org.