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Top 10 Reasons to use Native Plants



Photo for: Top 10 Reasons to use Native Plants

Photo by Tim Good

If you haven’t made plans yet to attend the native plant sale at the Sugar Creek Administration Center later this month, here’s why you should: Native plants are the building blocks for species diversity and a healthier planet.

The Nature Foundation of Will County’s sixth annual “Bringing Nature Home Native Plant Sale” will be held at the Forest Preserve’s Sugar Creek Administration Center in Joliet. A fundraising presale reception is set for Friday, May 18. Order your $25 presale tickets from the foundation’s website, willcountynature.org, to gain exclusive access to plants before the next day's event. The presale also will feature food, drink, music, auction items, a raffle and more.

Or show up for the public sale on Saturday, May 19, to peruse plants, shrubs and trees and talk to experts who will help you make your garden or landscape more eco-friendly. Vendors and exhibitors also will be in attendance. No registration or entry fee is required for Saturday’s sale.

According to the foundation, you should stock up on native plants because they:

  1. Are tough. They’re adapted to our soil, climate, other plants, insects and animals. They know how to live here.
  2. Aren’t needy. They require less maintenance and care, and save you time.
  3. Save you money. Most native plants are long-lived perennials, so you don’t have to replace them often. They are the gift that keeps on giving.
  4. Reduce energy use. Mowing time is cut as is the amount of energy you use transporting fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides.
  5. Save water. You don't have to water them during the drier months and they collect rainwater and recharge our underground water supply.
  6. Improve our health. They keep the air, water and soil clean and healthy. Plus, they don’t require fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides.
  7. Help wildlife. Animals, birds and insects rely on native plants for food, shelter and nesting.
  8. Preserve plant diversity. Even in your own backyard, native plants can create healthy natural systems that help plants and animals thrive. Native creatures and native plants are interdependent.
  9. Can be beautiful. We often overlook natives in favor of plants with showy blooms. But garden favorites such as coneflowers, coreopsis and yarrow have all been developed from North American native plants.
  10. Make Earth a better place. Using native plants to improve the planet's health can bring a great sense of satisfaction and pleasure as well as a wonderful feeling of accomplishment.

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