LSU Ag specialist Dan Gill says the best reason to use native plants is that they give the local landscape a sense of place, making gardens in the Gulf Coast South look distinctively different from gardens in other parts of the country. And if that’s not enough, native plantings also play an important role in providing food for native wildlife and restoring habitat; native birds and insects have coexisted with native plants for hundreds of years and are especially adapted to feeding on their foliage, nectar and fruit.
For these and other reasons, a seminar on the importance of native Louisiana plants will be held Jan. 21 from 9 a.m. until noon in the Bogue Falaya Hall at Covington City Hall. Guest speakers will be Tammany Baumgarten and Tracey and Dave Banowetz.
Baumgarten is a Louisiana Master Gardener, horticulturalist and New Orleans landscape business owner. She is founding resident of the Native Plant Initiative of Greater New Orleans and current president of the Louisiana Native Plant Society. The last 300 years have seen drastic changes in the Louisiana landscape. Her presentation will cover specific historical ecosystems in our state, then and now, and how the plants native to these systems define and support life.
Most importantly, seminar attendees will learn how utilizing these plants in our built landscapes today can help address modern problems in many ways.
Tracey Banowetz has served as executive director of the LSU Hilltop Arboretum, president of the Louisiana Native Plant Society, Master Gardeners of East Baton Rouge Parish and the Feliciana Nature Society, while Dave Banowetz has served on the board of the Louisiana Native Plant Society and on the advisory committee of the Louisiana chapter of the Nature Conservancy for the Baton Rouge area.
The two will describe their 28-year journey across three different homes sites and three different approaches to gardening with native plants of Louisiana. They have employed a variety of techniques to maximize the biodiversity of their landscapes, while respecting the spirit of three very different homesites.
Information about the Louisiana Native Plant Society’s Louisiana Certified Habitat Program will be provided at the seminar. This information can also be found on their website, https://lnps.org.
Buy advance seminar tickets for $15 at https://keepcovingtonbeautiful.org or at the door for $20. Admission is free for current Keep Covington Beautiful members. To attend, RSVP to email@example.com by Jan. 16. To volunteer to help at the event, contact firstname.lastname@example.org; to join Keep Covington Beautiful, visit https://keepcovingtonbeautiful.org.