Recognizing the importance of using sustainable plant materials to ensure a healthy habitat to support our ecoregional biodiversity, Homestead Gardens has established The Native Habitat Center. Dr. Doug Tallamy, professor of wildlife ecology and world-renowned author of several books on the subject, announced the opening of the center this fall on the “Katie Dubow Live” garden show.
The goal of the center is to improve the immediate environment in the critical area of the Chesapeake Bay watershed by educating and advocating for the use of native plant material sourced within a 50-mile radius. Over the last three decades of increased development, disturbed and compacted soil, and the increase of residential lawns, have contributed to an incredible loss to habitat and reduction in the biodiversity of plants, animals and insects that are necessary for a healthy environment.
It is also important to note that Anne Arundel County is in the known migratory path of many birds, butterflies and other pollinators that use this environment as a habitat during their travels along the mid-Atlantic. The Native Habitat Center will provide education and native plant material to help the community preserve and restore the fragmented habitat of migratory and indigenous species. Even in the backyard, it has been proven that native plants are effective in providing security for the biodiversity that maintains a healthy environment.
At the core of The Native Habitat Center is education and invoking an awareness in the community. Through workshops and online guest speakers, video engagements on Homestead Gardens’ social media pages, and the addition of four in-house native plant ambassadors located in The Native Habitat Center in Homestead’s nursery, the public will have a source for accurate information on what true natives are, what is included in our ecoregion as well as what beneficial biodiversity can mean for the immediate environment through building up native plant communities. Homestead is pleased to offer the top 40 trees shrubs, and perennials that promote immediate restoration to the environment. Each season, Homestead Gardens will offer more native plant materials that are necessary to build plant communities that will promote extended benefits to the environment.