Shirley Heinze Land Trust has announced this year’s application deadline for their Bringing Nature Home Award, which celebrates and recognizes individuals’ and business’ native plant gardens. “Native plant gardens provide crucial connecting habitats in an otherwise fragmented world. These gardens not only help to restore and protect native plants, but they also provide critical habitats for strained pollinator populations such as bees, caterpillars, and butterflies. And as we know, pollinators are responsible for maintaining and helping crops and flora to grow, especially as our food demands rise,” emphasizes Mari Patis, Programs Coordinator.
“Native plant species in northwestern Indiana are numerous, and those interested in plants deemed ‘native’ to this area can check out Indiana Native Plant Society’s comprehensive list of species at indiananativeplants.org/native-plants . Similarly, you can find a list of invasive plant species at indiananativeplants.org/invasive-plants/ ,” added Patis. Any garden submitted for consideration of the Bringing Nature Home Award should include native species and, most importantly, be free of (or in the process of being free of) invasive species on the above list.
To apply for the Bringing Nature Home Award, visit the online application here: www.heinzetrust.org/bringing-nature-home-award-application/. There, Shirley Heinze asks for basic information regarding your name, where your garden is located, the size of your garden, and a list of the native species in your garden. Applicants will also need to select a form of water conservation present: a pond, bird bath, rain garden, mulch, rain barrel, or other form of water conservation. From there, you’ll snap a few photos of your garden and submit your online application for the award due on August 20th, 2022.
Winners can expect to hear back from Shirley Heinze after the committee reviews all applications, and they can look forward to a garden sign commemorating their achievements and a feature of their lush gardens in front of the Shirley Heinze audience on their social channels.
Since 1981, Shirley Heinze Land Trust says it has preserved, restored, and maintained northwestern Indiana’s rich and significant natural communities, including tallgrass prairie, high dune, oak savanna, boreal flatwoods, dune-and-swale, woodlands, marshes, swamps, ponds, fens, bogs, and riparian habitat. More than 2,800 acres in Lake, Porter, LaPorte, St. Joseph, and Marshall Counties have been preserved for the public’s benefit. Shirley Heinze nature preserves feature significant scenic and ecological value, and most are open to the public for hiking and enjoying nature. The organization also works to educate people of all ages to appreciate the importance of land conservation and to experience the natural wonders of this unique region.
For more information on the work and nature preserves of Shirley Heinze Land Trust, visit www.heinzetrust.org , call (219) 242-8558, or access its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/heinzetrust .