JOPLIN, Mo. — Two upcoming events at the Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center will showcase the importance of native plants.

A one-mile wildflower walk will happen on May 27th at 10 a.m. on the Center’s nature trail.

Missouri Conservation Naturalist Jessie Ballard will lead the walk. She will detail the beauty and importance native wildflowers have on insects and other wildlife.

Then on May 28th, a native plant sale will take place at the Conservation Center from 10 a.m. until 1. Local vendors will be on hand offering native plants that you can include in your own backyard.

The goal of these events — to raise appreciation of the values of native plants.

“Native plants have a lot of benefits for both wildlife and people. From the wildlife standpoint — obviously they provide habitat. They provide a lot of the needs that insects and other animals have to survive. They’re good components of habitat. From the human standpoint, they provide beauty. Some of them are just as colorful as any non-native plant you’re going to see but they also provide an economic value in the way of less maintenance, because they were meant to be here and they’re use to growing here. A lot of times they will require less maintenance, less water, less fertilizer, less everything — because they are used to growing in the conditions we have here, so you don’t have to spend a lot of money on keeping them beautiful. They’re just beautiful — naturally,” said Francis Skalicky, Media Specialist, Mo. Dept. of Conservation.

Next Friday’s wildflower walk is free to attend, but registration is required.

You can do that on the Missouri Department of Conservation’s website by following this link.