In September 2010, California State Assembly Resolution ACR 173 authorized the establishment of California Native Plant Week (CNPW), beginning April 17, 2011. According to the CNPW website, This measure [which was sponsored by the California Native Plant Society] proclaims the 3rd week of April, each year, as California Native Plant Week and encourages community groups, schools, and citizens to undertake appropriate activities to promote the conservation, restoration, and appreciation of California’s native plants.
Although we all know how wonderful native plants are, it is puzzling to figure out how to spread the word; many Californians do not know what our native flora is, why it is so special, and why it is at risk. The San Gabriel Mountains Chapter of the California Native Plant Society, of which I am a member, decided to reach out to the community by displaying native wildflower bouquets in public locations. During the week of April 16th – 24th members will adorn local schools, libraries, post offices, municipal offices, and other places where the pubic congregates, with bouquets of native wildflowers.
The flowers will be collected from the gardens of chapter members and displayed in recycled glass jars. Attractive bookmarks and CNPW information cards will be placed next to the arrangements. The bookmark, developed by our chapter, informs the public that the native flowers came from gardens of SGM chapter members. Our chapter website and a small wildflower guide are printed on the back of the bookmark.
The CNPW piece is a colorful 9 inch by 4 inch card created by CNPS providing information on the beauty and value of our native flora, along with the CNPW website where more information on statewide events can be found.
If you are interested in donating cut flowers, or in creating or distributing bouquets, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for bookmarks and rack cards. It looks like I will have an abundance of globe gilia, monkeyflowers, and poppies in my garden. (Yes, poppies will stay open if they are cut early on a sunny day, placed in water and put in the refrigerator for about an hour.) If you would like to bring bouquets to your local community but do not have wildflowers in your own garden, you are welcome to some of mine – as supplies last! Others who also wish to share their wildflowers can contact me or make arrangements independently. Please let me know where and when you are distributing the bouquets so that we can share the success of our outreach with others.