Along with a state bird, flower, tree, fruit, and others Ohio now has its first native plant month! What's even better is that it is only weeks away! That's right, April has now been officially designated as Ohio Native Plant Month.
On June 27, 2019 Governor Mike DeWine signed Ohio House Bill 59 into law, which designates April as “Ohio Native Plant Month.” This is due in large part to efforts made by Former First Lady of Ohio, Hope Taft and Horticulturist, Nancy Linz. This law has been enacted to increase the awareness of Ohio’s native plants and the benefits they provide to our health, wildlife, environment, and economy. Plants, even small ones, have large impacts regarding stormwater, pollination of plants and crops, honey, carbon uptake, oxygen output, pollution reduction, food and shelter for wildlife, landscaping/ aesthetics, and soil health. Ohio is one of the first states in the country to dedicate an entire month to its native plants.
On March 31st look for our announcement on Ohio Native Plant Month and the importance of these plants. Then starting on April 1st Cuyahoga SWCD's facebook page and other members of the Lake Erie Allegheny Partnership (LEAP) will promote a different native plant each day. That's 30 different native plants to learn about! Our post will feature photos and a LEAP fact sheet for that specific plant. Over the course of ten years 3 native plants were chosen to be featured as LEAP’s Native Plants of the Year and April just so happens to have 30 days, how perfect is that!
If you would like to help celebrate Ohio Native Plant month by creating habitat in your own yard April is the perfect time to do this and Cuyahoga SWCD is here to help you out! You can purchase native plant seed kits for all types of environments on our website. We've got it all from sunny to shady areas, dry to wet soil, etc. and you can order themall year long, not just in April.
You don't have to have a yard to have native plants either! Check out some native plant sales or nurseries and try potting them on your porch, balcony, or deck like I did! I tried this last year to see if it can be done. I have taken special measures to overwinter them so that they come back this spring, I hope. I also plan on adding a Mason bee house and more plant species this spring. Wish me luck, I will keep you posted.
Happy 1st Ohio Native Plant Month Everyone!!!!!!
(Quiz: What is Ohio's state native fruit, insect, reptile, and amphibian? Answers to these questions and more can be found here.)
For more Ohio Native Plant Month information and events:
Blog Author: Kelly Parker, Stormwater Specialist II