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Recycle Utah plants seeds of conservation through sale

For more than 12 years, Recycle Utah has hosted its annual native plant sale.

The event is meant to educate the community about water conservation by showing local gardens can still be visually stunning with drought-resistant plants, according to Linda Karz, volunteer organizer for the sale.

"This is our attempt to show the Park City community that they can still have beautiful gardens here, but not use a lot of water on them," Karz told The Park Record. "With each passing year, due to low snow fall or the rise in population, our water becomes a more precious commodity."

The sale will be held at Recycle Utah, 1951 Woodbine Way, on Saturday, June 11, from 9 a.m. until noon.

"The foundation is the same as it has been since we started," Karz said. "Wildland Nursery from Joseph, Utah, brings in a huge assortment of plant materials that are native to Utah or suited well for Utah. And the most important component is that all of the plants are drought tolerant."

Karz met nursery owner Janett Warner in 1990 after building a house in Silver Springs.

"I put in a xeriscape garden because I was determined not to put in any irrigation," Karz said. "So, I did a whole bunch of research."

Karz found Wildland Nursery through the Utah Native Plant Society (unps.org).

"They listed a plant sale in Salt Lake that featured Wildland Nursery and I went and that’s where we started that relationship," Karz said. "Occasionally we’ll have an additional nursery come in to the Recycle Utah plant sale, but Wildland has been our staple.

"Janett grows great product and is so knowledgeable," Karz said. "She loads all of these plants and drags them up, and that’s nice for her to do as well."

Warner will be accompanied by some of her staff and other volunteers who will advise and guide people with their purchases, according to Karz.

"We will also have a table set up where we can discuss the invasive weeds we’re having trouble with up here," she said. "The weed that is causing the most problems is garlic mustard."

Although edible by humans, local wildlife won’t eat it and it will inhibit the growth of other native plants, Karz said.

"We’ll also talk about composting and things like that," she said.

The native plant sale fits in with Recycle Utah and it’s umbrella organization the Park City Conservation Association’s mission of conservation and sustainability.

"Water is its number one mission," Karz said. "The fact that 70 percent of our culinary water, the water that is processed for drinking, goes out in the summer time to irrigate gardens is mind boggling.

"So, the sale make sense to us because it’s an easy solution, because you don’t have to give up having a beautiful garden," she said. "These plants do take a little bit of water the first year to get established. But once they are established, they are used to the conditions we have in Utah and thrive."

Over the years, the plant sale has grown in popularity.

"It’s gotten to the point where people look forward to it and all the plants sell out every year," Karz said. "One of my primary goals is to make this way of planting so popular that people will go to the local nurseries and demand these plants so the nurseries will start carrying them. I would be delighted to see that."

Recycle Utah, 1951 Woodbine Way, will host its annual native plant sale on Saturday, June 11, from 9 a.m. until noon. Admission is free. For more information, visit http://www.recycleutah.org.


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