Thursday, February 23, 2012

Driving your message home – new specialty license plate for Virginia

polplateI didn’t used to believe in putting bumper stickers or specialty license plates on my car. But then I realized what a great opportunity  I was passing up  to spread the word about eco-friendly gardening.

If you are a “green gardener” in Virginia, you  have the opportunity to help encourage others to create eco-friendly gardening for pollinators.

This beautiful specialty tag is enough to make anyone want to attract butterflies, bees and hummingbirds to their yard, and we all know that means getting rid of chemicals and planting more native plants!

Here’s the info I read on the Virginia Native Plant Society Facebook page:

A group of local nature lovers is hoping to attract support for a new Virginia license plate with the inscription “Protect Pollinators.” The plate is meant to bring attention to the role pollinators — bees, hummingbirds, butterflies, etc. — play in supporting the vitality of the earth’s ecosystem and food supply.

“So far we’ve had quite a lot of interest from Beekeepers, Master Gardeners, Naturalists (including native plant and pollinator enthusiasts), and the Audubon Society,” said pollinator plate organizer Samantha Gallagher. “Like all of the proposed new Virginia plates, we need 450 applicants, the General Assembly’s vote, and the DMV’s approval.”

According to the Virginia Pollinator Plate web site, supporters have signed up 44 people so far. They need another 406 commitments by November 2012 to move on to getting legislative and DMV support. An electronic application can be found here.

Gallagher says the purpose of the plate is not to raise money, but to raise awareness.
“Our plate costs $10 annually and isn’t a shared revenue plate, but our hope is that it provokes interest and conversation in pollinator conservation,” she said.

For more information about the Pollinator Plate, visit the Virginia Pollinator Plates website or visit them on Facebook

For more information about attracting pollinators to your yard, here are some related posts:

10 Ways to Observe National Invasive Species Awareness Week

February 26 - March 3, 2012
Washington, DC

A week of activities, briefings, workshops and events focused on strategizing solutions to address invasive species prevention, detection, monitoring, control, and management issues at local, state, tribal, regional, national and international scales.
Full Description:
National Invasive Species Awareness Week (NISAW) includes activities, briefings, workshops, and events focused on strategizing solutions to address invasive species prevention, detection, monitoring, control, and management issues at local, state, tribal, regional, national and international scales. Visit the NISAW website for complete information and to register. Participants may attend some or all of the events. The total cost to participate is $85.

If you can’t attend the events, here are TEN WAYS TO OBSERVE NATIONAL INVASIVE SPECIES AWARENESS WEEK (from the the February 26 – March 3, 2012
1. Do Some Research:  Get on the Internet and find out what’s invasive in your area, region or state. Identify which species might be growing in your backyard or neighborhood.  Visit to get started.
2. Join in an Eradication Effort: Many parks and nature reserves manually remove invasive plants (and sometimes animals) with the help of local volunteers. These outings are a great way to get some exercise, enjoy time outdoors, meet new friends, and gain the satisfaction of knowing that you're helping to protect your natural heritage.
3. Become a Citizen Scientist:  Whether you are collecting scientific data to be used by local, state, or national agencies and organizations or actually helping get rid of the invasive plants and animals, you will be able to see up close and personal the impacts of invasive species and the results of your efforts. Visit Citizen Science Central ( to learn more.
4. Visit a Garden, Park or Nature Center: Spend an afternoon at a botanic garden, park or natural area and familiarize yourself with the native flora and fauna in your area. See if a guided tour is offered.
5. Read a Book: Not an outdoor type?  Find a book and read up on the threats posed by invasive species.
6. Donate: If you can’t give time, you might be able to give money. Even small amounts can help local invasive species organizations with control and management and other costs.
7. Start a Garden: Replace your invasive landscape plants with native alternatives. Unlike many non-­‐native plants, native plants are hardy, less susceptible to pests and diseases and are unlikely to escape and become invasive.  They help conserve water, reduce mowing costs, provide habitat for birds, butterflies and other wildlife, protect the soil and save money on fertilizer and pesticides. (bloggers note: and save the planet in the process)
8. Legislate: Write a letter to your local state representative or get involved with an activist group. Let your lawmakers know your opinions about the impact of invasive species on our natural heritage.
9. Take the Invasive Species Challenge: One of the most effective ways to manage invasive species is for recreationalists such as boaters, fishermen, pet owners, and gardeners to not be unknowing vehicles of dispersion. Download the pdf for more info.
10. Spread Awareness: Take your National Invasive Species Awareness Week commitment beyond this week. Tell your friends, family, neighbors and others about invasive species!

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