Throwing VA shade program

You spoke and they listened, the Throwing VA Shade Program has expanded their program for discounts on native trees with two local nurseries.

The Seven Bends Nurseries in Winchester and Strasburg are joining Woodstock Gardens from now through May 1, retail customers can
receive $25 discounts on select native trees and shrubs (valued at $50 or more) from the nurseries.

Throwing Shade VA Program incentivizes Virginians to plant native species of trees and shrubs, which provide water quality benefits and offer an important source of food and habitat for wildlife and pollinators.

Not only can native species meet any landscaping objective, they require less maintenance and little to no fertilizer.

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Throwing shade VA program

Virginia Department of Forestry used by permission from VDF Communication Specialist Cory Swift-Turner

The Virginia Department of Forestry (DOF) is partnering with three Virginia nurseries to launch a new pilot program featuring discounts on native trees and shrubs.

“Throwing Shade VA” helps nurseries promote native trees through customer discounts of $25 on eligible trees valued at $50 or more.

Incentives to purchase native species of trees and shrubs, which are adapted to their natural environment and thus more likely to thrive.

Native plants offer environmental benefits than ornamental species and provide food and habitat for wildlife, especially essential pollinators.

Three nurseries responded to DOF’s request for participation in the pilot program.

Burke Nursery & Garden Centre (Burke), Woodstock Gardens (Woodstock) and Coastal Landscapes & Nursery (Virginia Beach) all volunteered to participate.

The program is funded through state water quality improvement funds, the DOF is using to reimburse the participating nurseries for the

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Seedlings for sale

The Virginia Department of Forestry is accepting seedling orders from Virginia landowners.

With over 60 years of research behind their inventory for the best suited for Virginia soil and climate.

Orders are being accepted from now until later April.

Shipping will begin in February, once the ground has thawed.

They have available a wide selection of bare root seedlings, and specialty
seedling packs to meet specific goals like fall colors, buffers, or pollinator and wildlife habitat.

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Front Royal community helps restore ecosystem

The Town of Front Royal’s Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee, local community groups, and volunteers came together to plant a 200 meter section of Happy Creek’s riparian buffer in November.

Volunteers planted 450 young seedlings of seven different varieties of native shrub species that were approved by the Department of Environmental Quality.

The section of Happy Creek between South and Short Street was selected as a high priority area due to the abundance of invasive and undesirable vegetation that had begun to take over.

ESAC member and local conservation biologist Justin Proctor spoke on the value of these native plants reminding us that they “are adapted to handle our local climate and soils… build back our beneficial insects and pollinators, provide food for wildlife… stabilize riverbanks and help clean out pollutants.”

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Winchester helps bring back native thistle

The City of Winchester’s Arborist Jordan Herring and retired Shenandoah University professor and wetlands expert Woody Bousquet are assisting the US Fish and Wildlife Service with a new project.

They are working together to help bring back native thistles.

Native thistles are an important part of the ecosystem, especially for pollinators and birds.

They have been disappearing rapidly due to habitat loss and indiscriminate weed control efforts.

Native thistles are often mistaken for the invasive Canada thistle which also leads to their removal.

Three native thistle seeds are being collected for the project including pasture, field, and swamp.

Abrams Creek in Winchester is a great source for swamp thistle but the project is still in need of pasture thistle.

If you are interested in learning more about this project or would like to submit native pasture thistle seeds, contact Kathleen Patnode at 814-357-1735.

To learn more about the importance of native thistle, click here.

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Gardening in the Valley Symposium

The Northern Shenandoah Valley Master Gardeners Association is hosting the Gardening in the Valley Educational Symposium at Shenandoah University’s Henkel Hall today from 8 am to 4 pm.

The symposium will feature guest speakers on topics like attracting pollinators,natural remedies in pet health care, educational public gardens, and more.

Tickets are still available for purchase and all proceeds benefit their scholarship fund.

For more information or to purchase your ticket, head to

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