MICHIGAN CITY — Folks are invited to bring their “brown bag” lunch and learn a little about gardening during four sessions presented by La Porte County Master Gardeners. Three more sessions in La Porte County will focus on attracting pollinators, landscape design, to learning about Potager gardens.

At the second session in the Brown Bag Gardening Series on Feb. 12, Master Gardener Kitty Knoll will present on how to draw helpful pollinators to your plantings. She’ll cover which plants are most beneficial for pollinators and will bring healthy growth to your home garden.

The event will be held Wednesday, Feb. 12, from Noon to 1 p.m. at the Star Center, 422 Franklin St., Michigan City.

According to the Master Gardeners, somewhere between 75 and 95 percent of all flowering plants on the earth need help with pollination – they need pollinators. Pollinators provide pollination services to more than 180,000 different plant species and more than 1200 crops, the Master Gardeners said, meaning 1 out of every three bites of food is there because of pollinators. This adds up to $217 billion to the global economy, with honey bees responsible for between $1.2 billion and $5.4 billion in agricultural productivity in the U.S.

But pollinator populations are changing. According to the Master Gardeners, many pollinator populations are in decline and this decline is attributed most severely to a loss in feeding and nesting habitats. Pollution, the misuse of chemicals, disease, and changes in climatic patterns are all contributing to shrinking and shifting pollinator populations, the Master Gardeners said. This presentation is designed to help you provide a welcome to those valuable garden helpers.

Other sessions include:

n Wednesday, March 11, Noon to 1 p.m., Landscape Design for People Living with Dementia, Luhr County Park, 3178 S. County Road 150 W., La Porte.

n Wednesday, April 15, Noon to 1 p.m., The Potager Garden, La Porte County Extension Office, 2857 W. State Road 2, La Porte.

Folks are invited to bring their lunch and join in for one or more sessions on these gardening topics. The fee is just $5 for each session, which includes informational handouts, or $15 for all four sessions. No need to pre-register; just show up.

For more information about the sessions in the Brown Bag Gardening Series, please call Purdue Extension – La Porte County at 219-324-9407. You may also download a flyer at www.extension.purdue.edu/laporte; click on the “Garden” heading at top of the web page or go to the La Porte County Master Gardener website http://www. lpmastergardener.com/.

The La Porte County Master Gardener Association is one of the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service programs and helps fulfill the state motto of “Helping Others Grow” by training volunteers to promote good gardening and horticultural practices. The Association accomplishes this through its volunteers conducting educational activities and projects in the community throughout the year. For more information about the Purdue Master Gardener Program or about becoming a Master Gardener, contact the La Porte County Extension office at 219-324-9407 or visit www.extension. purdue.edu/laporte and link to “Master Gardeners” under “Garden.”

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