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Stock up on native species this spring with Foundation's online plant sale

A man organizes plants for sale.
(Photo by Chad Merda)

This year’s online spring plant sale hosted by The Nature Foundation of Will County is underway.

The 2024 sale will focus on pollinators and will feature a variety of monarch butterfly, hummingbird and bee favorites.

The Bringing Nature Home Native Plant sale runs through 4 p.m. Saturday, April 27. The plant list is online now and species will be added as the sale kickoff date approaches. Three-plant plug packs are $9 each. 

Plants can be picked up between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, May 18, or 9 a.m. to noon Sunday, May 19, at Isle a la Cache Preserve in Romeoville. An in-person native plant sale will also be held at Isle a la Cache during the plant pickup weekend. Cash, checks and credit cards are accepted.

Helping pollinators

To help the struggling monarch population, the plant sale will include monarch-friendly plants such as butterfly weed, swamp milkweed, prairie milkweed, purple coneflower, wild bergamot and yellow coneflower. Plants for sale that will attract hummingbirds include wild columbine, cardinal flower and several penstemons. 

“And bumble bees and other native bees will enjoy foraging on nodding onion, meadow blazing star and Jacob’s ladder,” said Cynthia Harn, the Foundation’s program coordinator. “These are just a few of over 60 different native plants available for sale online.” 

Now more than ever, it’s important to build monarch and pollinator habitat to create productive and sustainable wildlife habitats, Harn said. 

“Native trees and shrubs are important because they have formed symbiotic relationships with wildlife, including pollinators, over millions of years,” she added. “Their intentional use in any garden creates the most productive and sustainable wildlife habitat.”

Garden collections and vendors

Garden collections will also be offered that make using native plants easy and rewarding.

The 15-plant collections included in the 2024 sale are: Bumble Bee Banquet, Hummingbird Haven and Monarch Madness. Each collection includes three plants of five different species for $40. A deluxe 50-plant pollinator kit will also be available for $150. 

The Foundation’s also will be selling trees and shrubs ranging in price from $30-$45. 

Rain barrels can be ordered in advance via The Conservation Foundation and Upcycle. Rain barrels can be picked up during the plant sale pickup dates.

Also on Saturday, May 18, vendors will be in attendance to offer items for sale and plant advice:

  • Wild Birds Unlimited – Joliet: peruse and purchase garden art, bird feeders and more. 
  • Will County Audubon: get tips on how you can support both resident and migrating birds by making just a few environmentally friendly choices.
  • The Village of Romeoville’s Conservation and Sustainability Committee: learn about incentives the village will be offering to support pollinators. 
  • Pizzo & Associates and Good Steward Ecoscapes: ask your toughest native landscaping questions and representatives from these companies will provide answers. 
  • Forest Preserve staff will be on site selling nature-related apparel and merchandise from its Outsider Threads line. Proceeds benefit The Nature Foundation of Will County. 

Throughout the day, native plant talks will be offered in Traders Cabin.

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