Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s leading nonprofit which envisions a country where every community is a clean, green and beautiful place to live, is mobilizing Americans to bolster their local ecosystems by planting native species of trees, shrubs and plants for its fifth annual National Planting Day. National Planting Day, which will be observed on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016 and throughout the month of September, is a fall initiative of Keep America Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup, the nation’s largest community improvement program.
This year, Keep America Beautiful is encouraging its 620-plus community-based affiliates, partner organizations and other National Planting Day participants to “Keep America Bee-utiful” by focusing their efforts on planting pollinators. Keep America Beautiful is an original member of the National Pollinator Garden Network, an unprecedented collaboration of national, regional, conservation and gardening groups to support the President’s Executive Strategy to “Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators” and a proud participant in the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, a campaign to register a million public and private gardens and landscapes to support pollinators
National Planting Day focuses on four areas of need:
- Increasing the number of native trees in public spaces;
- Bringing natural beauty and sustainable urban infrastructure to “built environments”;
- Creating community-supported sustainable vegetable and fruit gardens; and
- Greening and restoring vacant lots with low-maintenance indigenous plants and trees in underserved urban and rural neighborhoods.
“Whether you are a gardening enthusiast or a municipal leader who is part of a citywide beautification program, you can make a difference simply by committing to use native species for your fall planting efforts,” said Keep America Beautiful President and CEO Jennifer Jehn. “Each and every pollinator is crucial to keeping our food chain sustainable and experience shows that clean, green and beautiful places are more likely to remain that way — improving the environment, reducing litter, spurring economic growth, and enhancing the social health of a community.”
Special planting activities will take place in dozens of communities this fall. Find a local Keep America Beautiful affiliate for details or register your own event online. Make sure to also register your pollinator garden so that it will “BEE Counted” as part of the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, and check out the helpful Pollinator Partnership Ecoregional Planting Guides to help you select the best pollinator plants for your specific area of the country.
In support of National Planting Day, Dickinson’s Witch Hazel Skincare, national skincare partner of Keep America Beautiful, is helping to bring awareness to the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, butterflies and other pollinators. In the winter, when all of the flowers have withered away, bees and other pollinators rely on the power of Witch Hazel plants to gather and store pollen. That pollen is then used in the spring to feed the first batch of baby bees and other pollinators before spring flowers bloom. Dickinson’s Witch Hazel Skincare is providing Witch
Hazel garden planting kits to 100 Keep America Beautiful affiliates throughout the country in regions in which Witch Hazel is native.