The eco highlight of my day was digging in the dirt with third graders as we planted native plants! I was not surprised to see these 8 year old’s totally engaged and calm as they got their hands dirty. Remember my blog post…???
The term native plants literally means, plants that have originated from a specific (native) region. Oak Openings native plants in Northwest Ohio, for example, have adapted to the sandy soil and climate of the Oak Openings ecosystem. Growing native plants in your yard is good for the environment because it attracts local pollinators and creates habitat for wildlife. One of my favorite examples of this relationship is the beautiful lupine flower, which attracts the Karner Blue butterfly. This is such a unique relationship, as it is an endangered insect that depends on an endangered plant which is in an endangered ecosystem – right here in my backyard!!!
Not only is it eco-friendly to grow natives, it’s so much easier too! Because these plants are accustomed to one’s local environment, they survive on their own with little to no care! In fact, my friend Kate sent me pictures of the natives she planted last season. She was not able to take care of them this Spring, but it didn’t matter – they bounced back full and bigger than last year!