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Categorized | IN OUR COMMUNITY

Native Plant Market and Expo returns to Roseville

Posted on 13 May 2015 by Calvin

By MARGIE O’LOUGHLIN

Native PlantsWhere can you shop 12 different nurseries specializing in native plants – all in the same place at the same time?

The Roseville Community Pavilion (behind CUB at 1201  Larpenteur Ave. W.) will once again be the site for this year’s Landscape Revival on Sat., June 6 from 9am–3pm.
As if the plants weren’t enticement enough, there will also be representatives from more than a dozen conservation organizations to help shoppers understand why native plants are so important.

Now in its fifth year, the Landscape Revival was the inspiration of two friends, Val Cunningham and Karen Eckman. Both are long-time St. Paul Audubon members with a deep interest in gardening, stewardship and conservation.

“Gardeners are giving more thought these days to the effect our gardens have on the world around us,” Cunningham said. The Landscape Revival promotes the use of native plants for their countless benefits to wildlife, pollinators and water quality, as well as for their beauty.

Native Plant MarketAs our population keeps growing, the demand for land development does too. Land development changes the way water flows, creating more runoff where water would otherwise soak into the soil. Native plants not only require less water to grow than cultivated ones, they also improve water retention in the soil because of their deep root structure. “If you care about clean water, you care about native plants,” Revival co-creator Eckman said.

A native plant is defined as one that grew naturally in a specific area before the arrival of European settlers. It’s important to know that planting stock or seeds from more than 200 miles away doesn’t constitute a native planting. The plant material must have grown in close proximity to where it is being planted: a native plant from Montana isn’t native to Minnesota, for example.

Native plant species have evolved over hundreds of years to be compatible with local pollinators. Cultivated plants don’t produce as much nectar and pollen as natives do, and aren’t as beneficial to pollinators. Cultivated plants are often pre-treated with insecticides, such as neonicotinoids, which scientists believe are contributing to the collapse of bee colonies across North America and Europe. Neonicotinoids actually make plants inhospitable to bees and other pollinators, while preventing some diseases and infestations. None of the plants sold at the Landscape Revival are treated with insecticides and will be a safe, abundant food source for those who need them.

The Landscape Revival drew 300 visitors in 2010,  its first year. More than 1,100 people attended last year, despite a heavy downpour that lasted all day.

When Cunningham and Eckman were first considering this idea, they quickly realized that education was going to be as important as plant sales. They wanted people to leave the event feeling well-informed. This belief continues to shape the Landscape Revival, even as leadership has changed over time. Expo presenters this year include experts in the areas of beekeeping, monarch preservation, land stewardship, water conservation, and more.

One Expo presenter is the Capitol Region Watershed District (CRWD). Elizabeth Beckman, education coordinator for CRWD, explained, “There are 48 different watershed districts in Minnesota. Ours covers about 2/3 of St. Paul, and operates as a special unit of government – something like a school  board. We receive a percentage of revenue from Ramsey County property taxes, and work on innovative ways to improve water quality for the benefit of all.”

CRWD awards stewardship grants to home owners, businesses, schools, and places of worship so they can reduce or prevent storm water run-off on their property. Storm water runoff is the #1 cause of water pollution in urban areas. Anyone within the boundaries of CRWD can apply; applicants may be eligible for financial and/or technical assistance on their projects, whether the projects are large or small. The size of the grants is dependent on the scope of the water quality improvement. Typical projects include rain gardens, shoreline restorations, water re-use systems and permeable hardscapes. To learn more about the program contact Gustavo Castro, CRWD grant administrator at gustavo@capitolregionwd.org.

Sponsors for this year’s event include CRWD, St. Paul Audubon Society, Blue Thumb, Wild Ones and the Ramsey/Washington Metro Watershed District.

In addition to the wide selection of native plants, rain barrels, organic compost and native plant seeds will also be available for purchase. Visit the Landscape Revival Native Plant Sale and Expo to see the stunning diversity of Minnesota native plants and learn how to start creating your own thriving, vibrant and low maintenance garden.
This event is free and open to all, and will be held rain or shine. Remember to bring re-usable bags, if you have them, to transport your purchases. Cash or checks only—credit cards cannot be used.


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