The Lower Shore Land Trust hosts an annual Native Plant Sale and Festival. This year’s festival is scheduled for May 2, however, in light of Gov. Larry Hogan’s executive order banning large gatherings the organization may reschedule, a representative said. 

(March 20, 2020) The Ocean City Green Team will collaborate with the Lower Shore Land Trust and offer reimbursements for the latter’s 12th annual native plant sale and festival. 

“We have a grant money program where we give money out to do rain gardens and pollinator gardens and beach district grants,” said Gail Blazer, Ocean City environmental engineer. “We can offer citizens of Ocean City [to] pay for a pollinator garden that they order through [Lower Shore Land Trust].”

The Land Trust’s plant sale aims to build welcoming environments throughout the Eastern Shore for insects and birds necessary in the pollination process. 

“Usually we try to do a $50 to $52 package and people get 10 to 12 plants. It’s nice, it’s a discount off of what they are … if they were to buy them all individually,” said Kate Patton, Land Trust executive director. 

Alongside the native plant sale, the group offers pollinator garden certification, which is a sign that is posted on one’s yard that gives information about the plants and how they benefit the environment. 

“The idea is to get people talking about it [and] to get people to learn a little bit more about what are these pollinators, what are these beneficial insects and birds and why are pollinators important to us,” Patton said. 

Although details are still in the works, Blazer said the process would be simple for buyers. 

They would fill out a pre-order form, choose the plant bundle they desire, plant it in their yard and then provide proof of installation to receive a rebate from the Green Team.

The money for this program would not come out of general funds, Blazer said. 

“This money has been collected from … [municipal stormwater] mitigation fees. We collect that in a deferred revenue account and that sits and waits for projects that are habitat, water quality and environmental related,” Blazer said. 

Pollinators, insects and birds that spread pollen, are essential to plant reproduction and assist 80 percent of global plant life’s reproduction cycle, according to the United States Forest Service. 

Human populations could not survive without the work of these pollen carriers, such as bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. 

“More than half of the world’s diet of fats and oils come from animal pollinated plants,” the Forest Service states on its website. “More than 150 food crops in the U.S. depend on pollinators, including almost all fruit and grain crops, [and] the USDA estimated that crops dependent on pollination are worth more than $10 billion per year.”

Globally, that figure jumps to $3 trillion. 

Patton said the bundles would likely feature plants from the agastache, aquilegia candensis and eupatorium families, as well other plant families, which are well adapted to the dryer soil and harsher sunlight here in Ocean City. 

The plant sale and festival is slated for May 2, however, Patton said that might change because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

To pre-order a native plant package and to keep up-to-date on the plant sale and festival visit http://lowershorelandtrust.org

Josh covers everything Ocean City government and crime. He graduated from the University of Richmond in 2019 with a B.A. in French and Journalism.

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