Leelanau Conservancy’s Annual Memorial Day Weekend Wildflower Rescue Sale Canceled
Leland, MI: The Leelanau Conservancy’s Annual Memorial Day Weekend Wildflower Rescue Sale has been canceled for 2020.
“We’re sad to miss out on this wonderful event put on by our volunteers, but due to the pandemic and the governor’s executive order, volunteers have not been able to work and the sale isn’t possible unfortunately,” says Claire Wood, the Conservancy’s Communications Director. “We can’t wait for the time when volunteers can gather and get back to saving native plants again.” The Conservancy has a special request from Michigan wildflower lovers everywhere to share wildflower photos online to help bring Leelanau together and ease the disappointment of canceled events.
The annual sale is put on by the Wildflower Rescue Committee, a volunteer group of the Conservancy which formed in 1999. Their mission is to save native plants from destruction, carefully removing them from new construction sites before building begins. Typically, each May a group of around 30 volunteers gather three times a week at different sites around the county to rescue over 50 species of native plants to be sold at the sale Memorial Day weekend.
The committee hosts the annual sale on the Leland Village Green with all proceeds raised going to support the Conservancy’s programs. The sale offers a variety of native plants and shrubs for purchase that normally aren’t found at average nurseries or garden centers. The group saves primarily woodland, or shade plants that are found in hardwood forests. Any plants protected by Michigan Law are legally dug with permission of the property owner. The star of the sale is the beautiful spring ephemeral, trillium, but a variety of unique plants can be found: from five different fern species to jack-in-the-pulpit.
In lieu of shopping for your garden at the sale this year, the Conservancy encourages purchasing from local businesses that sell native plants, like Four Season Nursery. They also ask the public to share photos of wildflowers virtually to flood social media feeds with beauty and inspiration. “We’d love to see how the plants you purchased from the sale in previous years are doing,” says Wood. “Or photos you’ve taken on a walk through the woods. Anything to remind us how wonderful spring in Leelanau is.” You can submit your photos to [email protected] or share on social media with the hashtag #whyleelanau.