Parks Foundation of Hendricks County to Host Native Plant Sale

By Rachel Moore | Editor-in-Chief

On Saturday April 16, the Parks Foundation of Hendricks County (PFOHC) will be hosting its second annual Native Plant and Tree Sale. The sale will start at 9a.m. and end at 1p.m. at the new location of Sodalis Nature Park in the neighboring town of Plainfield. The sale will also include native trees this year aside from only flowers and shrubbery from the previous year.

Julie Randall, the developmental assistant for the PFOHC, said the change in location from McCloud Nature Park to Sodalis Nature Park was for the sale to be more accessible to all of Hendricks County residents.

“This is the second year for our Native Plant Sale and our first year to offer trees,” Randall said. “We also have a new location: Sodalis Nature Park.  We created this event to raise funds for our Hendricks County Parks, [like] McCloud Nature Park, Sodalis Nature Park and the Vandalia Trail, as well as encourage our community to utilize native plants and trees in their landscapes.  Our goal remains unchanged, but has expanded to include native trees.  We also changed locations to Sodalis Nature Park from McCloud Nature Park for the sale to be more accessible to all of Hendricks County.”

Native plants offer many benefits, not only to the landscaping and grooming of yards, but also to the natural biodiversity of Indiana. These plants tend to thrive in Indiana climate and soil types, making them a hardy plant for Indiana gardens. They also provide food and shelter for native Indiana wildlife, making them vital parts of the ecosystem.

“Natives are the perfect addition to landscapes in Indiana,” Randall said. “Native plants and trees thrive in Indiana soils and climate, provide food and habitat for wildlife, add beauty and interest in landscape, help to create and preserve biodiversity and are vital part of Indiana’s natural heritage.”

Many of these native plants have been replaced with non-native plants due to their lack of originality or lack of presence on the market in many of Indiana’s homeowner landscaping plans.

In order to encourage and educate Hendricks County residents on the use and care for native Indiana plants, the PFOHC has coordinated with several individuals, organizations and businesses that specialize in ecological sustainability for landscaping in Indiana, including: Colletta Kosiba (Advanced Master Gardener, Advanced Indiana Master Naturalist, Honeywell Award for Horticulture, National Garden Crusader Award, feature writer and speaker), John Chapin (local landscaper and retired teacher), Dawn Stelts ( from Woody’s Warehouse, native tree expert, owner of Native Habitat Developers) and Carrie Vanover (from Wild Birds Unlimited).

Randall commented on the plethora of naturalists and specialists that will be giving demonstrations and advice to all customers at the Native Plant Sale.

“Often people are excited about using native,” Randall said. “But do need a little direction on how to plant and care for them.  Our naturalist and master gardeners will help customers choose the plants that are right for their home.  We will also have expert demonstrations.”

This sale is one of the first steps for the PFOHC to increase their ultimate goal of sustainability inside Hendricks County Randall said. Visitors and customers of the sale will help the PFOHC achieve their sustainability initiative by learning why and how to utilize native plants and make a difference.

“More natives equals greater sustainability,” Randall said. “Native [plants] provide food and habitat for bees, birds and animals. They preserve and create biodiversity. We would love everyone to add native [plants] to their landscape. Our Native Plant Sale is easy to do just that and support a natural Hendricks County.”

Photos by Rachel Moore

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