April 15, 2023
By Hunter Gale
Are you in the market for some high-quality native plant plugs to enhance your home’s landscape? Are you interested in learning more about what regional organizations are doing to benefit the environment and local community? And do you enjoy spending time outside learning from experts on how best to plant and maintain your native landscapes? If you answered yes to any of these, then the Earth Day 2023 Native Plant Sale is for you.
To celebrate Earth Day this year – which conveniently falls on Saturday, April 22nd – Deep Roots and GaleHart Communities are hosting the first annual native plant sale at the MCC-Longview campus in Lee’s Summit from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Four regional native plant sellers – including Missouri Wildflowers Nursery, Taylor Creek Restoration Nurseries, Forrest Keeling Nursery, and Black Root Farm – will have a wide selection of native plants to purchase onsite, or you can feel free to preorder ahead of time and pickup. (Preorders will not be available for Taylor Creek Restoration Nurseries).
Small actions can lead to large changes, and by planting natives in your landscape, not only are you cutting down on the amount of water, fertilizer, and pesticides you would otherwise use, but you are also helping to support the many wildlife species that depend on native habitat for survival. As an example, migrating monarch butterflies (who recently joined an endangered species list) lay their eggs exclusively on milkweed plants. Therefore, homeowners who plant native milkweeds are actively supporting these essential pollinators on their annual journey.
In addition to having milkweeds and some of the most recognized Missouri native flowers and shrubs available for sale, native plant experts from both Deep Roots and Missouri Master Naturalists will be on hand to help advise and answer any questions, so you can rest assured that the plants you pick will be the right ones for your specific growing conditions.
If you are the unlucky owner of a Callery Pear tree, Deep Roots (with the help of Evergy and their partners) will also be hosting a Callery Pear Buyback event onsite. By registering ahead of time through Deep Root’s website, participants are eligible to receive a free native tree to replace a Callery Pear tree that they have cut down, all in the interest of spreading awareness about the harm this invasive species can cause to local economics and the environment.
Additionally, local organizations will be on-hand to offer activities and education regarding their efforts to benefit the local community and environment – these include KC Food Hub, Compost Collective, MO Hives KC, the Missouri Department of Conservation, and others. Gusto! Coffee will have a station onsite should all of the education make one thirsty or hungry for a small bite.
For those who would like to celebrate by breaking a sweat, one can choose to kick off the festivities with one of two early Earth Day morning bike rides put on by the Bicycle Shack and CyclingKC – a short ride around Longview Lake leaving from the Longview Rec Center at 7:45 a.m., and a longer, 40-mile ride that leaves at 8:45 a.m. from Gusto! Coffee on Fascination Dr (more information on CyclingKC.org).
According to earthday.org, Earth Day is widely recognized as the largest secular observance in the world, “marked by more than a billion people every year as a day to change human behavior and create global, national and local policy changes.” However you choose to celebrate, know that you are in good company in trying to make our world a better place.