An exceptionally-successful event last year saw over 1,000,000 California-native wildflower seeds given away. Following up on that event, a special free grassroots event in Altadena on Saturday, January 20 will bring together multiple organizations to provide education and free seeds.
By News Desk
L.A. County residents can create their own pollinator friendly gardens. Free California-native milkweed (the host plant for struggling Monarch butterflies) will be at the forefront.
Open to all, the Pollinator Palooza will be hosted by the Altadena Community Garden from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm, in Loma Alta Park. There will be entertainment (with games, and pollinator selfie photowalls) and education (with presentations from different groups), and enough free native-milkweed seeds to plant hundreds of thousands of native plants — along with more than one million native wildflowers to support other pollinators — all in a family-friendly, upbeat event.
Those who appear in pollinator costumes will receive special gift bags and will be entered in the contest to win a grand prize.
A $100 VISA gift card will be given away through a free raffle open to all adults.
Tropical Milkweed Trade In
In addition to the seed giveaway, those bringing in a “tropical” milkweed plant can claim a free special “trade-in” pack of Altadena Maid’s “Monarch Munch” Milkweed Seedbark containing over 100 California-native milkweed seeds.
Such tropical milkweed stays green all year, and can be identified, in part, by its small yellow or yellow/red flowers. Once seen as a way to help Monarchs, tropical milkweed was rated a noxious pest by the California Department of Food and Agriculture last year, its sale has been banned in several California counties, and its removal is now encouraged by pollinator organizations.
Doug Colliflower, past president of the Altadena Rotary Club, and 2023 Altadena Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year, said, “The environment is one of Rotary International’s primary areas of focus, and we’re proud to be actively engaged in efforts to support pollinators.”
Pollinator Palooza Participants
Among the many groups participating will be the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association. “Bees are fascinating and wonderful creatures who do so much for our planet – yet, due to human actions, they are severely stressed,” according to Altadena resident Mary Landau, the group’s education chair.
“We hope that folks will come out and learn the very easy ways that they can help bees and other essential pollinators.” Lois Brunet, executive director of the Pasadena Audubon Society, spoke for other pollinators. “Did you know that hummingbirds and orioles play an important role in pollinating our plants? In the LA area, we are blessed with 6 different hummingbird species and 3 oriole species. Come visit the Pasadena Audubon table to learn more about these beautiful pollinators!”
In its early days, Altadena was marketed across the country as a wildflower haven, where wildflowers were picked in what was still the middle of the winter for much of the country. “It’d be great to see our community once again become a hub of drought-tolerant native wildflowers and plants,” said René Amy, the owner of Altadena Maid Products, a local wildflower seed company. “Giving away so many seeds is one way to help that process along — and it’s really time to do everything we can to help pollinators.”
In addition to the Garden, the Beekeepers, the Altadena Rotary Club, and the Pasadena Audubon Society, confirmed participating organizations include Amigos de los Rios, Rotary International’s Operation Pollination, and the Pasadena Sierra Club. The free event is organized, produced, and presented as a public service by Altadena Maid Products, a local wildflower seed company.
Altadena Wildflower-Seed Giveaway Saturday, January 20 10:00 am to 3:00 pm Location Altadena Community Garden 3330 N. Lincoln Ave, Altadena, (Within Loma Alta Park) Rain or shine in the Garden's back parking lot.
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