Plant Project grows on Spring Island

The Spring Island Trust Native Plant Project, established in 2009, has marked its fifth anniversary of serving both Spring Island members and the Lowcountry community.

The Native Plant Project was conceived when founding members Carolyn Dunlap and Ann Baruch sought to rescue rare native plants from construction sites and incorporate them into the island’s landscape.  It didn’t take long to realize that the promotion of native plant gardening was in concert with the Spring Island Trust philosophy and that the community could develop a sustainable enterprise that would be beneficial to the landscape and all the creatures that call this area home.

Spring and fall plant sales are held at Mobley Oaks baseball field and are attended by Spring Island members and off-islanders alike.  In addition, an early spring sale offers trillium, atamasco lily and bloodroot. Proceeds from all sales directly benefit the Spring Island Trust, whose mission is to insure the preservation and protection of the island’s environment and cultural history.

Although occasional construction digs still occur, most of the plants offered by the Native Plant Project are grown from seed, harvested as volunteers or obtained through division of or cuttings from mature plants.

A few notable facts:

• Since 2009, more than 11,000 native plants have been returned to the landscape.

• Karl Ohlandt (staff Landscape Ecologist) manages a database with detailed cultivation information and images of over 100 species of native plants.

• More than 70 Spring Island members serve as volunteers.

• An on-island nursery holds up to 6,000 plants, representing over 100 native species.

• For more information, visit www.springislandtrust.org and click on the Native Plant Project tab.

• The Spring Native Plant Sale will be held Saturday, April 13 from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the Walker Landing Ball Field.

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