Wild Ones’ Native Woodland Plant Sale runs through April 22

• Plants offered are native to north central Illinois and southern Wisconsin; Wild Ones’ next meeting is Thursday, Feb. 21

Staff Report

The annual Native Woodland Plant Sale, sponsored by the Rock River Valley Chapter of the national group Wild Ones, is now under way.

Wild Ones: Native Plants, Natural Landscapes is a nonprofit group that promotes environmentally sound landscape practices to develop and strengthen native plant communities in our own back yards.

Native plants provide nectar, pollen and vegetative food to caterpillars, which are the larval form of butterflies, as well as to a myriad other insects. These insects, in turn, provide the protein-rich food birds require.

Public forest preserves and other conservation areas are important, but they are not enough — not in number or acreage to provide the habitat and nourishment that local and migrating birds need.

All of the plants offered in the woodland sale are native to north central Illinois or, more specifically, Winnebago, Ogle, Boone and Stephenson counties. Most of these plants are also found in southern Wisconsin as well.

The flowering plants and the grasses and sedges are great sources of food for wildlife, while the ferns provide shelter and add much beauty to the woodland.

To obtain an e-copy of the brochure with plant descriptions and order form, visit the Wild Ones website at www.wildonesrrvc.org. The website is also the source for information about the prairie and tree and shrub sales, which begin later in the season. Or, contact Woodland Sale Coordinator Barbara Flores at bafwoodland@yahoo.com or (815) 289-8602 for a paper or electronic brochure and to be put on a mailing list for the other plant sales. Orders will be accepted through April 22.

The public is also invited to Wild Ones meetings, normally the third Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. at Burpee Museum of Natural History, 737 N. Main St., Rockford. The next meeting is Feb. 21, and the presentation is on “The Role of Fire in Our Ecosystems.”

From the Feb. 13-19, 2013, issue

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