By Lindsey Douglass, Environment Erie Intern
Go Native Erie is the amazing local group that is hosted the 2016 Pollinator Week Celebration. Their mission is to spread awareness about the importance of planting native species in the Erie area. Although they can be pretty, exotic plants don't offer the benefits that native plants do.
One of the greatest things about going native in your garden is the lessened work load! These plants are adapted for Erie's climate. They can withstand the hard winters, downpours, and even minor droughts. Also, many are suitable to grow easily in soils that are sandy, full of gravel, or clay. Native plants are also resilient against local diseases and insects. They have everything in their arsenal to survive in your garden, with little or no assistance.
Not only should gardeners be excited, but also environmentalists. Growing plants that are natural in the area is good for the whole ecosystem. Jen Salem, founder of Go Erie Native and a Master Gardener, explains that "pollinators that live in this area are attractive to native plants." Native insects, birds, and animals get shelter and food from their favorite native plant species.
Native plants are the heart of a healthy local ecosystem. By avoiding invasive and exotic plants, you help preserve native species and restore the natural "look" of Erie. By learning more about Go Native Erie and the information they provide on local plants, you can make a beautiful garden that is Go Native Erie approved.