WHEREAS, native plants are indigenous species that have evolved alongside native wildlife and occur naturally in a particular geographic region, ecosystem, and habitat; and
WHEREAS, native plants are essential for healthy, diverse, and sustainable ecosystems and are critical for cleaning air, filtering water, and stabilizing soils; and
WHEREAS, native plants are well-adapted to Alaska’s soils, temperatures, precipitation, and environmental conditions, which makes them the best option for conserving and protecting our environment and adapting to its changes; and
WHEREAS, native plants provide food, including nectar, pollen, and seeds, and foliage for native birds, caterpillars, butterflies, bees, and other wildlife in ways that non-native plants cannot; and
WHEREAS, Alaska is home to more than 2,500 native plant species which includes shade trees, shrubs, perennials, vines, grasses, and wildflowers; and
WHEREAS, native plants are an integral part of traditional food ways and cultural practices of Alaska Native peoples, and native plants have provided food, medicine, shelter, and other life necessities to Alaskans for many generations; and
WHEREAS, opportunities exist to promote new and expand existing industry in Alaska to grow from seed, harvest, and propagate native plants for supply to local retailers, the Alaska landscape industry, and other potential markets; and
WHEREAS, it is vital to encourage public awareness about the benefits of Alaska’s native plants and to recognize their importance to our traditional ways of life, to our rich heritage, to our pollinators and other wildlife, to our economy, and to the health and sustainability of Alaska’s vibrant ecosystems.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Mike Dunleavy, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ALASKA, do hereby proclaim May 2023 as:
Alaska Native Plant Month
in Alaska, and encourage all Alaskans to observe the month of May as Alaska Native Plant Month by planting native trees, shrubs, and flowers in their yards, removing non-native invasive plants, and educating themselves about the many benefits of native plants.
Dated: May 1, 2023