In partnership with Audubon North Carolina, Governor Cooper designated October 19-25, 2020, as “Native Plants Week” in North Carolina, highlighting the importance of native plants to birds, pollinators, and out state’s natural heritage. Read the proclamation here.
Get involved this week by tuning in to watch our special Native Plants Week episode of Birdy Office Hours this Wednesday, Oct. 21, at noon, or simply get outside and plant for birds in your own backyard or neighborhood.
"Growing native plants is a small but important act of hope you can take on your own, and you'll be joining a movement of folks across the state committed to making our communities better for birds and people," said Andrew Hutson, executive director of Audubon North Carolina and vice president of the National Audubon Society.
Just in time for Native Plants Week, New Hope Audubon Society and Audubon North Carolina have kicked off an advocacy campaign to encourage Durham City Council members to approve recommended bird-friendly changes to the Durham Landscape Manual. Read more about this effort here.
New Hope Audubon Society is the latest Audubon chapter in North Carolina to partner with city and county staff to remove invasive plants and emphasize native plants, which provide dramatically more of the food resources birds need.
Other municipalities with updated plant lists include the Town of Matthews (partnering with Mecklenburg Audubon), the City of Winston Salem, and Forsyth County (partnering with Forsyth Audubon). In Asheville, Blue Ridge Audubon leaders helped pass a policy in 2019 that banned invasive plants on city property and promoted the use of native species. Watauga County passed a resolution to use and promote native plants on county-owned property in March at the request of High Country Audubon Society and the High Country Restoration Coalition. Wake County passed a resolution in support of native plants in 2018.
At the state level, Senate Bill 606, passed in 2019, requires the NC Department of Transportation to prioritize native species of trees, grasses, and legumes when the agency plants vegetation along highways. Similarly, House Bill 77, passed earlier this year, requires towns and cities to prioritize native plants along state-funded local roads.
This is the fourth year in a row that the governor has proclaimed Native Plants Week. During the first Native Plants Week in 2017, Audubon North Carolina teamed up with First Lady Kristin Cooper to plant 1,000 native plants at the Executive Mansion, making it a model bird-friendly yard for North Carolina and sanctuary for birds and butterflies passing through downtown Raleigh.
Fall is the best time to plant the trees, shrubs, grasses, and perennial flowers that will produce food for birds for years to come. Find plants for your favorite birds and pollinators using Audubon’s native plants database.