Native Plant Symposium Scheduled for Feb. 11

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Provided by Prince William County

Plants that are native to Northern Virginia are better for the environment than non-native plants. Native plants are adapted to local conditions and need less water and care than non-natives, which are most prevalent in many home gardens.

“Northern Virginia natives are important for beneficial insects and pollinators that are in decline,” said Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) Education and Outreach Instructor Nancy Berlin. “Native plants are beautiful in all seasons. There is a native plant for every condition. They can be managed to look formal or less formal. They’re adapted to our soils and our climate. When selected carefully, they’re easy to grow. Once they’re established, they don’t need irrigation, fertilizing or much care. It does depend on how formal the setting is — how much maintenance they need.”

VCE and the Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District will host the 5th annual Prince William Native Plant Symposium from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, at the Verizon Auditorium at George Mason University’s Manassas campus.

Breakout sessions at the symposium will include how to create meadows of native plants, native reforestation in yards, herbaceous perennials for suburban yards, common invasive species management, landscape design, rain gardens and backyard gardeners, climate change, native edibles and medicinal plants, building healthy soils, among other topics.

Visit Plant Natives to register, purchase tickets and see the breakout schedule. Tickets for the seminar are $30 for in-person attendance and will include light breakfast fare and lunch. Tickets for the virtual program are $15. The deadline to purchase tickets is Feb. 10.

Nancy Lawson, author of “The Humane Gardener” and “Wildscape,” will give the keynote address from 10:15 to 11:15 a.m.

Partners for the event include George Mason University, Northern Virginia Community College, the Virginia Native Plant Society, the Prince William Conservation Alliance, Prince William Soil and Water District, the Prince William Wildflower Society, Virginia Cooperative Extension, and the Prince William County Public Works Department/Environmental Services


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