Why Are Native Plants Important?
Native plants provide habitats for local and migratory birds and animals. Native plants will live with the local climate, soil types, and animals. Plants and animals that have evolved together depend upon each other for survival. Native plants and animals form a complex network of relationships, an intricate web of life with each species’ life cycle highly dependent on the others. Insects are particularly vulnerable when a native plant they depend on disappears. Without food, that insect cannot survive; birds and other pollinators that used this insect as a food source, will struggle to survive.
Once established, native plants generally require little maintenance. Because native plants are adapted to local environmental conditions, they require far less water, saving time, money, and perhaps the most valuable natural resource, water. The Bondsville Mill Park continues to plan its gardens to attract birds, butterflies and to welcome park visitors who enjoy nature.
Programs are planned to introduce visitors to the park’s native plants such as the recent Tree Scavenger Hunt. Alerts are sent to the Mill Friends’ list when particular plants are in bloom. When park visitors are looking to add new plantings to their property, these examples will encourage them to consider native plants.
The Bondsville Mill Park has been recognized for our support of planting natives:
- Pollinator Friendly Garden, Penn State Extension
- Certified Wildlife Habitat, National Wildlife Federation