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PLANT POWER! Celebrate and Conserve.

Posted by Tara Henson on 05/08/2012

PLANT POWER! Celebrate and Conserve.

WHY PLANTS ARE IMPORTANT

Plants are the backbone of all life on Earth and an essential resource for human and animal well-being.  Just think about how your everyday life depends on plants:

  • Food: Everything we eat comes directly or indirectly from plants. Throughout human history, approximately 7,000 different plant species have been used as food by people. 
  • Air: Oxygen is brought to you by plants, as a byproduct of photosynthesis
  • Water: Plants regulate the water cycle: they help distribute and purify the planet's water. They also help move water from the soil to the atmosphere through a process called transpiration.
  • Habitat: Of course, aside from humans' myriad uses, plants make up the backbone of all habitats. Other species of fish and wildlife also depend on plants for food and shelter
  • Climate: Plants store carbon, and have helped keep much of the carbon dioxide produced from the burning of fossil fuels out of the atmosphere
  • Medicine: One-quarter of all prescription drugs come directly from or are derivatives of plants. Additionally, four out of five people around the world today rely on plants for primary health care

Unfortunately, the plants that are vital to people and the planet are facing serious threats in your backyard and around the world. 

GO NATIVE-USE NATIVE PLANTS!

By using native species in plantings in your backyard with an emphasis on a design that uses native plants to replicate local plant communities, such as our mixed short grass and tall grass prairies and eastern Oklahoma forests, you can do your part to help compensate for the loss and fragmentation of habitat, and nurture birds, butterflies, and other pollinators and seed dispersers. And don’t forget to avoid threatening plants indirectly by damaging their pollinators and native habitats, don’t use toxic pesticides, don’t overfertilize, and choose plants to minimize water use.

Celebrate Plant Conservation during the Zoo’s Endangered Species Celebration on Friday May 18 from 10am to 2pm.

More plant resources:

http://www.bgci.org/plantconservationday/about/

http://www.natureserve.org/aboutUs/

http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/

http://www.nwf.org/Get-Outside/Outdoor-Activities/Garden-for-Wildlife/Gardening-Tips.aspx

http://oklahomaproven.okstate.edu/index.html

http://plants.usda.gov/java/

http://www.oknaturalheritage.ou.edu/plants_rare_vulnerable.htm

Apache PlumeLittle BluestemPenstemon Antique and Coreopsis




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