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Market place for native prairie plants marks 30th anniversary

Royal Saskatchewan Museum welcomes visitors and gardeners.
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Nature Regina volunteers will be offering tours of the Native Prairie Plant Garden garden.

REGINA — The Royal Saskatchewan Museum (RSM) and Nature Regina are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Native Prairie Plant Garden at the museum's entrance with several activities planned for visitors on Saturday, June 15. 

Nurtured by Nature Regina volunteers and the RSM since 1994, the garden is a colourful oasis featuring flowers, grasses and shrubs native to southern Saskatchewan. Home to the Monarch Watch Monarch Waystation, the garden is a popular stop for RSM visitors.

"The Royal Saskatchewan Museum garden is a unique way to showcase Saskatchewan flora, and introduce species you can explore further through our wonderful exhibits inside," Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Laura Ross said. "Thank you to Nature Regina for all the work you do to care for the Native Prairie Plant Garden, and we look forward to continuing this partnership into the years ahead."

The garden is also home to many creatures, big and small. During the year you will find monarch butterfly caterpillars munching on milkweed plants or migrating songbirds, wrens, goldfinches, nuthatches and chickadees foraging in the garden. 

The garden also is home to a number of pollinator species, including at least two at-risk bumble bee species.

"Nature Regina is thrilled and very grateful that a project begun as a demonstration garden displaying beautiful plants unique to our prairie is still, 30 years later, actively and generously supported by volunteers, community donations, the Royal Saskatchewan Museum and Wascana Park," Nature Regina volunteer Gail Fennell said. "We look forward to more people than ever stopping to visit the garden over our next 30 years to experience the joy of gardening with prairie plants." 

The RSM and Nature Regina activities run from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm. on Saturday, June 15.

Native Prairie Plant Garden Tours 

Nature Regina volunteers will be offering tours of the garden. Discover the diverse and constantly changing community of flowers, plants, shrubs, bees and other interesting insects living there. 

The tours will take place at 10 a.m., noon, 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.. 

Nature Regina will be handing out packets of milkweed seeds so you can start your own monarch butterfly sanctuary. Watch monarch caterpillars turn into butterflies in your own backyard. 

Packets will be given on a first come first served basis.

A Gathering of Prairie Gardeners Presentation - 11 a.m. to noon

Join Nature Regina volunteer Gail Fennell and discover what a Greener Greenspace is and how you can make your garden an oasis for you and be part of the "growing" movement creating Butterflyway havens for pollinators and wildlife.

 

Bees: Prairie Diversity and Conservation Status - 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Join RSM Curator of Invertebrate Zoology Dr. Cory Sheffield for a discussion on the importance of bee pollinators. 

The presentation will include tips on gardening for pollinators, how the public can help conserve pollinators and potential threats to their populations. 

This event coincides with National Pollinators Week celebrated across the country from June 17-23. Dr. Sheffield is also featured in an article in .

Drop-In Program - Insects, Flowers and Food - 10 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Learn about pollinators, bees and other insects in the SaskTel Be Kind Online Learning Lab. 

Garden Seek-and-Find

Take part in the seek-and-find, visitors can hunt for native plants in the garden. Participants will also receive a monarch butterfly activity sheet!

Bee Exhibit

Check out the Pollinator Exhibit near the entrance. This travelling display features specimens of Saskatchewan native pollinators as well as a fifty-dollar coin from the Canadian mint. 

This coin celebrates pollinators and was developed with input from the Royal Saskatchewan Museum's Curator of Invertebrate Zoology, Dr. Cory Sheffield.

To learn more about the Royal Saskatchewan Museum's exhibits, events, programming and world class research, visit: . 
— Submitted by RSM