MANALAPAN – The Manalapan Environmental Commission will hold a native plant sale on Sept. 18 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (rain or shine) at the Manalapan Recreation Center, 520 Route 522, Manalapan, under the Dreyer pavilion and Eco Patio. Credit cards will be accepted.
The sale will feature plants to rebuild habitat for the monarch butterfly. Much of this
habitat has been lost due to land development, according to a press release from the commission.
“The beautiful monarch butterflies make an incredible migration from Mexico to our area each spring, but they need milkweed plants to survive because they are the only plants monarch caterpillars eat,” said Jenine Tankoos, chairwoman of the environmental commission.
Near where the native plant sale will take place, the commission maintains a demonstration butterfly garden to help educate residents about the monarch’s unique migration and the need for more milkweed plants in the landscape, according to the press release.
“Adding a few milkweed plants or other native plants to a yard is a simple way that residents can make a big difference for nature,” Tankoos said.
Local native plant expert Steven Kristoph of Steven Kristoph Nursery will be at the sale
to help answer questions and select plants. Kristoph is an adjunct instructor at the
Rutgers University School of Environmental and Biological Sciences.
According to Kristoph, fall is an excellent time for planting due to soil temperatures being high while air temperatures are cool.
Mayor Jack McNaboe said the “environmental commission sale focuses on native plants because of the many benefits these plants provide to homeowners and the environment.”
Native plants are hardy and can better withstand weather extremes. Since native plants evolve to grow in local conditions they only require watering when they are getting established and they do not require pesticides or fertilizers, according to the press release.
The use of fewer chemicals protects the public health by keeping chemicals out of local landscapes where they also spread to local waterways by way of storm water runoff, according to the environmental commission.
Plant sale attendees will be able to see demonstration gardens, live butterflies and displays
about a variety of local environmental topics.