Native plant distribution event in Oakland County

Kristine Hahn

Wouldn’t you love to have a beautiful, low maintenance flower garden that attracts butterflies and birds to your yard?  If your answer is “Yes!” and you live in Oakland County, you can get FREE high quality native plants at the Oakland County Native Plant Event.  Michigan State University Extension, Oakland County Board of Commissioners and Oakland County Parks and Recreation are collaborating to give away over 600 native plants at the distribution event on June 2 and June 3, 2023.

The first step to get your native plant kit is to register after 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 17, 2023. If the link is visited prior to that time, there will be an error message. Each household can register for one kit.  Be sure to register early, as these plants will go fast!

When registering, you will choose which native plant kit you need for your site. It is important to match the type of plant kit to the existing light and soil conditions in your yard for your native plants to be successful. There are four plant kits to choose from:

• SUNNY AND SANDY: These plants should be planted in an area with full sun and sandy soil.

• AVERAGE: These plants should be planted in an area with full sun and clay soil.

• MOIST AND SUNNY: These plants should be planted in an area with full sun and any soil that is frequently wet.

• PARTIAL SHADE: These plants should be planted in an area with part to full shade and any type of soil.

Each kit is a pre-assembled collection of approximately 16 native plants: four plants of four different species that are native to and grown in Michigan by a local nursery called Wildtype.

After you register, you’ll have to wait a little over two weeks until the distribution days at the following times and locations:

• June 2 from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. at Lyon Oaks County Park (52221 Pontiac Trail, Wixom, Michigan 48393).

• June 3 from 9 a.m. until 11a.m. at the Evanswood Church parking lot (2601 E. Square Lake Road, Troy, Michigan 48085) near Turtle Woods Preserve.

Be sure to bring the kids to the distribution site so everyone can visit our outreach booth that will be at both locations where they can see demonstrations of how to build a bee house. Michigan State University Extension and Oakland County Parks staff will be at the outreach booth to answer your native plant, gardening, and natural resource questions. Emily Seeley, Huron Pines AmeriCorps member serving at Oakland County Parks and Recreation, has been working on developing a variety of native plant outreach materials that will be at the outreach booth, along with materials from Michigan State University Extension.

You may be asking why Oakland County is giving away a large number of native plants to its residents?  Native plants are beautiful additions to Oakland County yards that support our native wildlife and once established, use less water, fertilizer and pesticides than typical landscape plants. We all want to be more sustainable and to increase the beauty of our homes to support our native wildlife, and using native plants is a small, but concrete step you can take to maintain our high quality of life in Oakland County.