Native Plant Donations & Garden

  • Location
    Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania
  • Status
  • Age Level
    Any Age

The Problem

Our local ecosystem needs more native plants as a food and habitat source for other native and migratory species. The act of offering seedlings with educational outreach about their care each week this spring and summer (16 weeks) will enhance our community and deter more biodiversity loss from invasive species. Furthermore, our community does not have a role model for gardening with native species; we would like to add to the existing native tree and shrub garden at the Bloomsburg Children\'s Museum by adding more annuals and perennials, as well as add native seeds and tubers to the rotation of the Bloomsburg Seed Library, which currently has food and herb seeds primarily.

Our Plan

We are planning to purchase seeds and tubers of native plants, and also pots to raise them in our greenhouse. We will create informative handouts and make a display for our table when we donate the seedlings at our town\'s weekly farmers market (where we will be passing out native species booklets and a new educational sheet each week to add to form the booklet). We will also plant some seedlings in a native species garden and also at the Bloomsburg Children\'s Museum\'s native plant garden and Kocher Park while taking photos and videos. We will share the techniques on our farm\'s blog, our Roots and Shoots Bloomsburg FB page, our gardening and foraging FB group with about 800 local members and then the farmers market, Children\'s Museum, Bloom Seed Library and Kocher Park (part of the Columbia County Conservation District) will share our info on their social media accounts too. We will also donate seeds and tubers this year and every year hereafter to the Bloomsburg Seed Library, where seeds are exchanged for free to members (membership is also is free and lasts a lifetime). I spoke to the founder, Dave Maxwell, and he was thrilled about having more native plants and the educational outreach to really enhance our community\'s understanding of their value and importance. I\'ve attached the documents for the donation form to the Bloom Seed Library, a brochure for Kocher Park, and our list of expenses, including the seeds, tubers, equipment and materials.

Themes Addressed

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    Animal Welfare
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    Biodiversity Loss
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    Community Enhancement
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    Migratory species

The Benefit

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Here is how the project went:

Despite the setbacks from the pandemic with shipping times from the seed companies, and changes to our work schedules, we were able to grow and plant a fantastic amount of native plants. We missed the opening farmers markets to disperse the seedlings, but the Bloom Seed Library is welcoming our informative posts and seed donations this autumn.

Through this project I/we learned:

We learned a lot about native plants!!!! The seeds, growth cycles and stages of development have been fantastic to study and witness.

What I/we might change:

Next time I'm in a pandemic, I'll know the protocol to socially-distance our table to offer seedlings, and also how to contact a local gardening club to see if their members might like to have them too.

My/our favorite part of this project was:

witnessing the growth of the seedlings and having the children discern between them at young stages of development.

Some tips, tricks or fun facts about the project:

Most of the native seeds were very small and require minimal soil preparation, making them an "easy" addition to more spaces!

Relevant Links

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