3rd annual plant sale aids pollination efforts

The Jennings County Soil and Water Conservation District is using a plant sale to encourage more people to plant pollinator-friendly gardens.

The third annual sale is part of the district’s Share Some Space project. The deadline to order plants is March 16.

“The plant sale is designed to make it easier for people to share some of their natural environment with the pollinators that we all need,” said Andy Ertel, the district’s director.

Pollinators are necessary for the growth of about 75 percent of plant life on Earth and for more than 30 percent of the food used by humans, he said. Bees, birds, butterflies and some insects are examples of pollinators.

The national Share Some Space project, directed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other agencies, is an effort to improve the natural environment for pollinators. The project began after government agencies discovered an alarming shortage of pollinators across the nation.

The soil and water district formed the Jennings County Pollinator Committee in 2015 after learning of the shortage of pollinators. The committee’s volunteers are dedicated to efforts to improve the local natural environment for the nourishment of the pollinator population.

The plant sale includes 27 species native to Indiana or the U.S. Proceeds from the plant sale will be used to support additional Share Some Space projects.

“Each of the plants were selected because they are easy to grow and maintain, and they are also the most attractive to pollinators,” Ertel said.

Plants will be delivered for pickup from 4 to 7 p.m. May 3 at Muscatatuck Park in North Vernon.

The complete list of available plants and order forms are available online at jennings swcd.org, or call 812-346-3411, ext. 3, for more information.

Annual district meeting

What: 67th Annual Meeting of the Jennings County Soil and Water Conservation District

When: 5:30 p.m. March 6

Where: Rolling Hills Shrine Club, 3815 State Road 7 North, North Vernon.

Why: Discussion about community projects (Tripton Park, Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, Crosley Fish and Wildlife, Share Some Space), district review, dinner catered by Rolling Pin.

Cost: Tickets $12 per person and can be purchased Monday through Friday at the soil and water office, 2600 State Road 7 in North Vernon, or by calling Kelly at 812-346-3411 extension 3. Deadline to order tickets is Feb. 28.