By Brenda L. Holmes
AVON — AVON – Local youth have helped to expand an annual fundraiser for the Avon Outdoor Learning Center (AOLC).
The 11th annual Native Plan Sale and Spring Event or “Nature Rocks” will be May 17 and 18 at the Avon Outdoor Learning Center. The sale will be from 4 to 7 p.m. May 17 and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 18. There will also be a benefit concert from 5 to 10 p.m. May 18.
The AOLC is at 7237 E. U.S. 36, Avon, behind Maple and White Oak elementary schools.
“We hosted a day for the Youth Leadership Hendricks County (program),” said Jennifer Davies, educator for the AOLC. “We picked their brains and came up with ideas to expand our event. One of the ideas was to host a concert.”
She said a few of the students approached her after the session and offered to help with the concert. One of those students was Andrew Stewart who will be a featured performer.
“This is our main fundraiser for the year,” Davies said.
Native plants and garden seedlings will be offered for sale. Those purchasing 10 plants will receive one plant for free.
Plants being sold include prairie dock, purple coneflower, yellow coneflower, asclepias turberosa butterfly weed, asclepias incarnate marsh milkweed, cardinal flower, burr sedge, royal catchfly, bergamont, New England aster, compass plant, great blue lobelia, queen of the prairie, downy blue skullcap, purple prairie clover, little bluestem, prairie dropsied, and northern sea oats. Plants are $3 each.
There will be plant for sale that has been cultivated by students in the Garden Club.
“We have about 80 third- and fourth-graders sign up for garden club from White Oak and Maple elementary schools,” Davies said. “The kids come out before school and at recess. They are planting harvesting, weeding, and collecting seeds.”
The students will have herbs and vegetable plants for sale they have been growing in the AOLC’s greenhouse.
There are several activities in addition to the plant sale planned for Saturday.
“People had been telling us we needed to expand our fundraiser so we listened,” she said.
Nature Rocks, the concert, will feature performances by Michael Kelsey, the Breaks, Andrew Gaddie, the Chicagoats, Andrew Stewart, and Young Swavey. Tickets are $5 at the gate.
Michael Homoya will be on hand to sign copies of his book, Wildflowers and Ferns of Indiana Forests: A Field Guide, from 9 to 10 a.m. Books will be available for purchase.
Ellen Jacquart of The Nature Conservancy will be holding a workshop entitled, “Identifying and Removal of Invasive Plants,” at 10 a.m. Simon Davies will present, “Natives in Your Landscape,” at noon.
“She primarily works on controlling invasive plants,” Davies said. “She will be helping people identify the invasive plans and helping them to manage their own landscape.”
There will also be healthy cooking demonstration by a chef at 2 p.m. in the garden.
“We’d also like to have some vendors,” Davies said. “We’ve put some feelers out there to eco-minded organizations.”
For more information on the AOLC, visit the website at www.avon-schools.org/Page/262. To find out more about being a vendor, call Davies at 544-6400 ext. 6482 or e-mail to OLC@avon-schools.org.