April designated as Native Plant Month in Mississippi
MDAC to promote Mississippi Native Plant Month and educate the public on its Importance
Photo: Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson joined Governor Tate Reeves as he signed Senate Bill 2137 into law designating April as Mississippi Native Plant Month. From left, Gipson; Lyn McMillin, Immediate Past President of the Garden Club of Jackson; Reeves; and Hollidae Morrison, President of the Garden Club of Jackson.
Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson has joined Gov. Tate Reeves as Reeves signed Senate Bill 2137 into law designating April as Mississippi Native Plant Month in order to preserve the heritage and importance of native plants for clean air, water and soil stability, and for related purposes. In addition, the bill charges the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce with promoting Mississippi Native Plant Month and educating the public on its importance.
“The Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce is proud to be a part of this new law that designates April as Native Plant Month,” said Gipson. “Most people may not realize the importance of native plants and the impact they have on our environment. Our agency will work to not only promote Mississippi Native Plant Month, but also educate the public on these crucial plants, such as our own native Southern Magnolia and a variety of native grasses and wildflowers that benefit Mississippi’s wildlife and natural beauty.”
Mississippi is home to more than 2,700 native plant species which include trees, shrubs, vines, grasses and wildflowers. These native plants are well adapted to the state’s soils, wetlands, temperatures, precipitation and environmental conditions, making them essential for conserving and protecting our environment. According to the Mississippi Native Plant Society, native plants preserve our rich biological heritage; provide shelter, as well as nectar, pollen and seeds that serve as food for native butterflies, insects, birds, and other wildlife in ways that nonnative plants cannot provide; provide diversity in form, texture and color to fit any landscape style; and are hardy and easy to grow once established.
During the month of April, the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce will be reaching out in an effort to see that all Mississippians learn and appreciate the importance and history of Mississippi’s native plants and the many benefits they provide to pollinators, and to preserve Mississippi’s biological heritage in aiding in the prevention of flooding and erosion and maintaining and preserving the health of Mississippi’s economy and environment. In doing so we expect to assist in a number of plantings across the state in partnership with Keep Mississippi Beautiful, the Mississippi Department of Transportation and others.