First Sunday Films on Native Plants at Watershed Institute

Monarch feeding on a New England aster at one of the Watershed's rain gardens (photo credit: Watershed Institute)

During these brisk winter days, curling up with a seed catalog is a gardener’s delight. This Sunday, two experts will discuss the benefits of native plants for biodiversity and clean water after showing several short films at the “First Sunday Films” at 1pm at The Watershed Institute.

“Choosing plants native to your area offers several advantages,” said Kory Kreiseder, stormwater specialist at the Watershed and one of the experts speaking on Sunday.

Natives are adapted to local soils and climate. They are hardy and will survive without special care, such as fertilizers or pesticides. These native plants also provide food and shelter for wildlife, including birds and butterflies.

Planting natives often prevents invasive species, such as Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum), from taking root in a garden.

“Native plants often self-sow or spread to fill in a space, which results in lower planting costs,” added Allison Jackson, the Watershed’s stewardship coordinator, who will also speak on Sunday.

Bring your questions for these experts. Look for native plant sales in late April and early May in our region at local nurseries, nonprofits and garden stores.

Free environmental films are shown at the Watershed Center every first Sunday of the month at 1pm. Enjoy free, local and organic popcorn during the show and spend some time on the beautiful Watershed Reserve before and after the movie.

The Watershed Institute (formerly the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association) is dedicated to keeping Central New Jersey’s water clean, safe and healthy. Founded in 1949, The Watershed Institute protects and restores water and the environment through conservation, advocacy, science and education. For more information about the Watershed, or call (609) 737-3735.

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