by Robin Simmen, chair of the North Fork Audubon Society Landscape Committee

Shopping for native plant species at local nurseries can be challenging. Twice a year North Fork Audubon Society (NFAS) makes finding native plants on the East End a little easier! Our 2023 Spring Native Plant Sale will be held in Greenport, NY, on Saturday and Sunday, May 20 and 21, rain or shine, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. with no pre-ordering necessary.

Over forty species of plants native to the northeastern United States and locally grown by Glover Perennials—many of which are drought tolerant and deer resistant—will be showcased outdoors at the Roy Latham Nature Center at Inlet Pond County Park, 65275 Country Rte.48, in Greenport, NY 11944. Cash, checks, and credit cards will be accepted.

While you’re shopping for plants, be sure to visit our rain garden to see some of the species for sale thriving in a sustainable landscape. The blue flag iris may have just broken bloom (see photo)! Native plants are smart—most don’t expend energy making flowers until it’s warm enough for stirring insects to pollinate them.

NFAS is a volunteer-based chapter of National Audubon. Our mission since 1971 is to “Connect People with Nature” through education, conservation, and hands-on experiences that preserve bird and wildlife habitat on our unique, biodiverse North Fork and beyond. Headquartered at the Roy Latham Nature Center in Inlet Pond County Park, NFAS demonstrates best practices for local landscaping by replacing invasive plant species with those native to Long Island, prioritizing water conservation, and creating wildlife habitat.

Watching natural woodlands and fields vanish across the East End, many bird lovers are rewilding home landscapes with native plants vital to birds and insects.

Wildlife numbers are plummeting as their habitats—both food and shelter—disappear. That’s why NFAS is helping people learn to replace old invasive plant species—such as privet and Japanese barberry—with better choices like native chokeberries and winterberries that feed insect pollinators and migrating birds.
Proceeds from NFAS’ two yearly plant sales–in spring and autumn–support our efforts to rewild Inlet Pond County Park with native trees. Information on Berries for Birds, a new NFAS initiative in partnership with Dr. Douglas Tallamy’s Homegrown National Park, will be available at the Plant Sale, too. Come discover what a difference
you can make by planting native berries for birds where you live!

Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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