Keep America Beautiful Launches National Planting Day

- U.S. Department of Agriculture Joins Nonprofit in Issuing Nationwide Call to Plant Native Species on Sept. 8 and throughout the Fall -

STAMFORD, Conn., Aug. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Keep America Beautiful (KAB), its affiliates and its partners are mobilizing Americans to support local ecosystems by planting native species of trees, shrubs, and plants through a new call to action. The first National Planting Day will take place on Saturday, Sept. 8, and will continue with activities happening through Nov. 30.

National Planting Day celebrates the value and power of native species in restoring ecological balance to the environment, while creating greener, more beautiful communities. Why plant natives? Native species of plants and wildlife are losing ground to suburbanization and fragmented habitats. Yet we know that natives provide the best sources of food and habitat for pollinators and other important wildlife. Native plants are hardy, and require lower maintenance and less water than other ornamentals.

"As the scarcity of water becomes a significant national issue, it's important that we focus on the planting of more ecologically appropriate, drought-tolerant native species," said Matt McKenna, president and CEO, Keep America Beautiful. "National Planting Day is a call to action designed to encourage people to plant natives at home, or to join a volunteer planting effort to beautify their community."

Keep America Beautiful will be joined in this effort by the United States Department of Agriculture's People's Garden Initiative, which is part of the USDA's partnership with KAB to create food gardens across the U.S. Communities that wish to be recognized for growing a 'People's Garden' must incorporate sustainable practices such as planting native species. The simple practice of planting natives helps the environment by conserving water, protecting soil from erosion and providing habitat for wildlife. People's Gardens across the country are being called upon to participate in National Planting Day.

Community groups, businesses and individuals are encouraged to register planting events today at www.getgrowing.org.

About Keep America Beautiful, Inc.
Keep America Beautiful, Inc., established in 1953, is the nation's largest volunteer-based community action and education organization. This national nonprofit forms public-private partnerships and programs that engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community environments. For additional information, visit www.kab.org.

About the United States Department of Agriculture's People's Garden Initiative
The People's Garden initiative is an effort by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) which challenges its employees to establish People's Gardens at USDA facilities worldwide or help communities create gardens. People's Gardens vary in size and type, but all are required to have three components in common. The garden must benefit the community, must be collaborative and must incorporate sustainable practices. For more information, go to www.usda.gov/peoplesgarden.

CONTACTS
KAB Contacts: Robert Wallace/Larry Kaufman
Tel: 203.659.3016 / 203.659.3014
Email: rwallace@kab.org / lkaufman@kab.org

SOURCE Keep America Beautiful, Inc.



RELATED LINKS
http://www.kab.org/
http://www.usda.gov

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