Delaware Native Plant Society (DNPS) volunteers frequently set up and staff displays at various fairs, plant sales, festivals and other public events throughout the state. These displays have the important goal of educating the public about the value of native plants in the landscape and to inform the public about the mission, activities, and opportunities available within the DNPS. To achieve this goal, we have developed several display boards depicting numerous activities of the DNPS including; reforestations, field trips, our native plant nursery, native plant sale, plant rescue opportunities, regular and annual meetings, and more. Some of the more intriguing elements of the displays are photos of a variety of plants native to Delaware. These photos not only depict the beauty of native plants, but also stress the practicality of landscaping with natives. We also have a game that pits a visitor’s ability to identify native and non-native plants and to match them to written descriptions. Anyone who plays the game wins a free native plant seedling when they attend our annual fall sale.
People are also attracted to the display simply to ask questions, and those questions can run the gamut. Even though not all questions can be answered, perhaps one of the most gratifying rewards of a volunteer is to get a novice gardener enthusiastic about native plants!
Of course, one of the major objectives of attending these events is to inform the public about the DNPS and to encourage involvement. Visitors to the display are encouraged to take a membership application, given a sample newsletter, and told about volunteer and educational opportunities within the club. Also available for sale are copies of the DNPS publication Delaware Native Plants for Landscaping and Restoration booklet and the Flora of Delaware checklist.
If you know of an event that we should participate in, we would like to hear about it and if you would like to volunteer to staff the DNPS display your involvement is greatly needed! The qualifications are easily met - all that’s required is enthusiasm for gardening with native plants, and enjoying talking with people of like interests. Please check out the calendar on this website for the next DNPS event near you!