Manheim Township Recreation Department presents the 12th annual Lancaster Native Plant and Wildlife Festival this Saturday, April 29, from 8am to 1pm at Overlook Park on Granite Run Drive. This year's event will showcase 18 local environmental organizations, 7 native plant nurseries, and many artisans. Kids activities include a scavenger hunt, coloring stations, and PA native animals. Inside the Manheim Township Public Library, across the street from the vendor area, Raven’s Ridge Wildlife Center will present at 9 am.
These activities are provided completely free thanks to the event sponsor Land Studies and a volunteer club called Habitat Manheim Township, who seeks to educate the public about the benefits of native plants for the ecosystem and the community through education and by example. Overlook Park, Landis Woods, and Stauffer Mansion, all part of the Manheim Township park system, have examples of native plant gardens.
Whether you’re a “native plant nerd,” a hobby gardener, or just enjoy being outside in beautiful Pennsylvania, this festival is for you! At 10:00am, Zach Groff, Land Studies, will give a presentation about Invasive Species Management. At 11:00am, Sara Fitzsimons of the PA/NJ Chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation, will present “Conservation, Rescue, and Restoration of Forest Tree Species: American Chestnut Case Study.”
Later, at 12:00pm, Lamonte Garber from Stroud Water Research Center will take guests on a tour of the recent updates to the Planting and Habitat Rehabilitation in Overlook Park. Participants will get an up-close look at the invasive species removal that occurred and learn how Stroud rehabilitates an area and chooses which native plantings will best function in the area.
This is a great opportunity for the citizens of Lancaster County and beyond to learn from the many native plant gardening and wildlife experts and enthusiasts that will be at the festival. All speakers and activities are completely free, and no registration is required. Free parking is available throughout the Overlook Park Complex. The festival takes place rain or shine and will be moved indoors if severe weather is expected. To see the full schedule and list of vendors, visit www.LancPlantFest.org, or find "Lancaster Native Plant and Wildlife Festival" on Facebook.