Watershed-friendly native plant kits available from Penn State Extension

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Interested in reducing stormwater runoff, lowering water pollution, conserving water and supporting wildlife and pollinators?

To help nurture more watershed-friendly properties, Penn State Extension will offer the Master Watershed Steward Watershed-Friendly Native Plant Kit Sale until June 18.

These kits are designed to help individuals incorporate more native plants into their property. Plants are available from locations in Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Cumberland, Delaware, Erie, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Schuylkill, Wyoming and York counties.

This sale is aimed at native plant lovers, anyone interested in straight-species, open-pollinated native plants from their region, sustainable landscaping advocates and supporters of watershed-friendly practices.

The kits contain plant plugs carefully selected from species grown by Kind Earth Grower using locally collected open-source pollinated seeds and 50% peat-free growing media. Plant plugs are smaller than what is typically found in nurseries, allowing for easier transportation and planting within existing vegetation. The plugs have healthy root systems which will establish this autumn so plants can flourish next growing season.

Kit options are the Sunny Soggy Bottoms Kit, Shady Soggy Bottoms Kit for wetter-soil areas and the Wildlife Magnet Kit, which contains generalist plants that provide food and habitat for numerous pollinators and wildlife. All three kit options are available in two kit sizes.

“Bountiful Kits” are $100 and include five species with five individual plants of each species, for a total of 25 plants. The smaller “Container Kits” cost $25 and include five species with one plant of each species, for a total of five plants.

Individuals can choose their kit and select the pickup location most convenient from 16 counties across the state. Proceeds will support the Master Watershed Steward program in providing volunteer-driven education and restoration work in that region.

Penn State Extension also offers the opportunity to earn the Master Watershed Steward watershed-friendly certification in collaboration with Nurture Nature Center. Native plants are woven throughout the certification criteria because of the abundant benefits they can provide.

More information about the watershed-friendly native plant kit sale is available at https://extension.psu.edu/mws-native-plant-kit-sale.

For more information about the Master Watershed Steward Program, contact Program Coordinator Natalie Marioni at 717.240.6500 or nkm5342@psu.edu.

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