April is Ohio Native Plant Month

SPRING VALLEY — One of the activities that have not been put on hold during the coronavirus pandemic is the ability to go outside.

While outside, Ohioans are encouraged to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the 50th anniversary of the passage of Ohio’s Natural Areas Act, and the first Ohio Native Plant Month — April.

“Why are these dates important? They encourage us to connect with the native plants around us and to realize we are all interdependent,” said former Ohio First Lady Hope Taft, co-founder of Ohio Native Plant Month. “People can’t survive without the insects and birds to pollinate the plants that provide food for us. So we need to protect and increase the pollinator habitats to encourage the growth of local food sources. Using native plants in our gardens can help us have the right plant in the right place that will take less water and like our soils and climate better.”

The UN is urging the world to plant one trillion trees this year. Ohio has more than, 1,600 native plants and trees that could be planted, according to Taft.

“Hopefully you can find just the right one for your yard and its particular circumstances,” she said.

Visit www.ohionativeplantmonth.org for ideas on what will work for you, because once established, native plants will mean less work.

“I have learned about the value of native plants by volunteering as a governor’s gardener at the Ohio Heritage Garden, Ohio’s native plant botanical garden, that surrounds the Governor’s Residence in Columbus,” Taft said. “It is the state’s five major growing regions in miniature, and a prime example that there is a plant for every situation.”

If you plant a native tree this year, visit the Ohio Native Plant Month website and so it can be added it to the list.

“We hope to reach 100,000 trees as our part of the UN challenge,” Taft said.