Montgomery Parks to Host Annual Fall Native Plant Sale Starting August 24, 2022

Montgomery Parks  and Locust Grove Nature Center will host its annual fall native plant salebeginning on Wednesday, August 24, 2022. The department’s Native Plant Program began ten years ago at Pope Farm Nursery to bolster native vegetation for native pollinators. The plants help create habitats that are necessary for pollinators’ survival and support the local ecosystem.

The native plants will be available for purchase online via ActiveMONTGOMERY and in-person at Locust Grove Nature Center.

  • Online sales open Wednesday, August 24, and run through September 6. Customers buying online will need an ActiveMONTGOMERY account and can pick up purchases by appointment at Pope Farm Nursery in Gaithersburg.
  • The onsite sale will be held on Saturday, September 17, and Sunday, September 18, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. each day, at Locust Grove Nature Center’s Armstrong Cabin, to the right of the park’s tennis center, in Bethesda.

Native plants available for purchase include perennial wildflowers, grasses, shrubs, and pawpaw trees. The plant sale will feature many well-known native plants as well as some species that are not available in the nursery trade because they are sourced from wild plants in parks.

All proceeds from the online and onsite sales will fund the nature center’s educational programs and Montgomery Parks’ Nature on Wheels, the mobile science field station that travels all over the county and educates the public on the local environment.

Angela Yau, the facility and program manager at Locust Grove Nature Center, runs Montgomery Parks’ seasonal native plant sales and said education helps people connect to nature.

“Through this funding source, we are growing opportunities for the public to learn more about the value of native plants and wildlife and how they can create a sanctuary in our communities,” Yau said.

Rochelle Bartolomei, native plant program manager for Montgomery Parks, collects seeds from parks in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties and other nearby parks in Maryland and Northern Virginia. The plants are all from Ecoregion 64 in the Northern Piedmont, which means they belong in this area and will support the local populations of insects that have co-evolved with them.

About Montgomery Parks Native Plant Program: 
Montgomery Parks’ Native Plant Program is hosted at the department’s 92-acre Pope Farm Nursery. The program was established in 2012, to enhance habitats for native pollinators, and has quadrupled since its founding from 12,000 to 50,000 plants produced per year.

Staff gather seeds from native plants in the parks, which are cleaned, stored, prepared, and planted outdoors in raised beds as well as indoors in greenhouses. Plants mature at different rates; from just a few months up to several years.

Native plants are planted in different areas of the county’s parks, including stormwater management projects, landscaping projects at facilities, and for the Weed Warriors program. They are also used for native plant sales at Montgomery Parks’ nature centers and nature classroom.

Maryland’s native plants include host and nectar plants that provide food for insect larva, such as monarch caterpillars, and can flourish without fertilizer, pesticides, or extensive care beyond watering. Native plants are adapted to the local climate and soil and provide food for wildlife. They are also better equipped to manage insects and diseases, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Native Plants for Wildlife Habitat and Conservation Landscaping: Chesapeake Bay Watershed guide. 

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Sunday, April 21, 2024, 11am-4pm (held rain or shine!)

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www.dayofthebook.com

Instagram: @kensingtonbookfestival

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Step into a world where the Caribbean spirit comes alive! From 12:00 PM onwards, immerse yourself in a sensory journey that celebrates the unique culture, cuisine, and music of the Caribbean. Whether you're an African American, a Reggae or Soca music enthusiast, a wine lover, or part of the vibrant Caribbean diaspora, this festival promises to delight and captivate you in every way.

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