MICHIGAN CITY — Shirley Heinze Land Trust announces the ninth annual “Bringing Nature Home” Awards program.

The initiative recognizes those who landscape their grounds or yards using plant species that are native to northwestern Indiana. Businesses, institutions, public agencies, landscapers and home gardeners are eligible. Founded by The Friends of Shirley Heinze, the program takes its name from a book written by native-plant advocate Douglas Tallamy.

“Research has shown that native plants, including wildflowers and trees, support many more butterflies and other pollinators than non-natives,” said Henry Jones, longtime Shirley Heinze volunteer and activist. “At a time when many butterfly and moth species are in decline, even a small garden with appropriate host plants can make a difference in their long-term survival. Every small act of restoration by those who landscape can be a step in recovery of what has been lost to development in our area.”

Plantings in Lake, Porter, La Porte and St. Joseph Counties are eligible, with assistance from the St. Joseph County Parks Department for applicants in its area. Full program details and an online application may be found at http://www.heinzetrust.org/bringing-nature-home.html. Arrangements will be made to visit the plantings after the application has been received. Applications are due no later than July 15.

For more information on the work and nature preserves of Shirley Heinze Land Trust, visit www.heinzetrust.org, call 219-242-8558, or access its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/heinzetrust.

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