Stamford, Conn. – Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s iconic community improvement nonprofit organization, is mobilizing Americans to bolster their local ecosystems by planting native species of trees, shrubs and plants for its seventh annual National Planting Day.
Held annually the first Saturday after Labor Day, National Planting Day kicks off the fall planting season for Keep America Beautiful’s network of more than 600 state and community-based affiliates and other local partners with events taking place through October.
National Planting Day is a fall initiative of Keep America Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup, the nation’s largest community improvement program. National Planting Day celebrates the critical nature of native plants and trees in enhancing biodiversity, rebuilding ecosystems and supporting pollinator health. Beautiful public places transcend aesthetic appeal to positively impact the lives of area residents, visitors, businesses and institutions. Green spaces restore our communities, helping to make them more environmentally healthy, socially connected, and economically sound.
National Planting Day focuses on four areas of need:
1. Increasing the number of native trees in public spaces.
2. Bringing natural beauty and sustainable urban infrastructure to “built environments.”
3. Creating community-supported sustainable vegetable and fruit gardens.
4. Greening and restoring vacant lots with low-maintenance indigenous plants and trees in underserved urban and rural neighborhoods.
“Keep America Beautiful and our affiliates are encouraging National Planting Day participants to focus their efforts on planting pollinators to increase biodiversity in our neighborhoods and communities,” said Helen Lowman, president and CEO, Keep America Beautiful. “Each and every pollinator is crucial to keeping our food chain sustainable and experience shows that clean, green and beautiful places are more likely to remain that way.”
In support of National Planting Day, Dickinson's Witch Hazel Skincare is helping to bring awareness to the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, butterflies and other pollinators. In the winter, when all the flowers have withered away, bees and other pollinators rely on the power of Witch Hazel plants to gather and store pollen. That pollen is then used in the spring to feed the first batch of baby bees and other pollinators before spring flowers bloom. Keep America Beautiful is pleased to have Dickinson’s Witch Hazel Skincare as a continuing National Planting Day Sponsor.
Keep America Beautiful is an original member of the National Pollinator Garden Network, an unprecedented collaboration of national, regional, conservation and gardening groups to support the promotion of the health of honeybees and other pollinators. The organization is also a proud participant in the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, a campaign to register a million public and private gardens and landscapes to support pollinators.
Special planting activities will take place in dozens of communities this fall. Find a local Keep America Beautiful affiliate for details or register your own event online. Make sure to also register your pollinator garden so that it will "BEE Counted" as part of the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge and check out the helpful Pollinator Partnership Ecoregional Planting Guides to help you select the best pollinator plants for your specific area of the country.
Tips and ideas to help you #PlantBeautifulThings this National Planting Day can be found at kab.org/NationalPlantingDay.