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Upstate: Fall Native Plant Sale
October 18, 2014 @ 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
To download a flyer to share with others, click here.
To download an information-packed list of some of the plants that will be available at the Oct 18th sale, click here.
To download a list of volunteer opportunities, click here.
Why a plant sale?
The SC Native Plant Society is an activist organization on behalf of native plants and native communities. Our mission includes:
Educating members and the public about the importance of native plants;
Supporting efforts by agencies to protect native habitats;
Encouraging public and private use of native plants in landscapes; and
Promoting the commercial availability of native plants.
The Society has earned a great reputation for success in pursuing this mission.
Our twice-yearly native plant sales are a key part of pursuing our mission:
1) We make a wide variety of native plants available to the public, and we provide guidance on the importance and use of these species;
2) We earn funds to devote to our education and advocacy efforts; we use these funds for preparing displays, publications, newsletters and web-based information, as well as financial support of habitat protection and preservation initiatives; and
3) We provide local native plant propagators and nurseries a well-advertised, well-attended sales venue, which provides visibility for them and for the Society.
These sales events have been very successful, thanks to the efforts of a large group of dedicated volunteers over the years. We are now seeking volunteers to help to organize and execute our Fall 2014 sale. (To volunteer, click here.)
The sale is scheduled for Saturday, October 18th, and will be located at the University Center (formerly McAlister Square Mall) parking lot in Greenville. We have broken down the job of putting on the Sale into a set of small, but important, components. The major categories are:
1) inventory acquisition and organization
2) preliminary advertising and publicity
3) sale area preparation and plant display
4) sale day staffing and execution; and
5) sale area take-down and disposition of remaining inventory.
This whole process proceeds over the three months prior to the Sale (steps 1 and 2); Friday prior to the Sale (step 3), and Saturday — Sale day (steps 4 and 5).
For steps 1 and 2, we have planning meetings at regular intervals through the summer and early fall, to arrange plant orders; publicize the event, including plant lists and descriptive information for media and the website.
Step 3 starts on Friday, October 17, with the arrival of plants to the site. The “sales floor” is marked out on the parking lot. Plants are labeled with species and price information, and placed on their “shelves.” Guest vendors can lay out their plants on Friday as well. The plant holding area for customer purchases is also laid out. The plants will be left on the site, with a watch-person providing a watchful eye overnight.
Sale day (Saturday) starts early (7:00 am), with set-up of tents and tables for displays and checkout area. Some guest vendors may choose to lay out their plants early Saturday as well. The sale starts promptly at 9:00 am, at which time we like to have volunteers available to help customers locate and transport plants, as well as experts to advise and answer questions. We also need to neaten up the “shelves” as the inventory disappears! We commonly need to give some of the plants a late morning drink. We also assign several volunteers to manage the customer plant holding area, as well as to assist at the check-out area.
At 1:00, or inventory depletion (whichever comes first), we break down the display tents and tables, and transport them back to storage. Any remaining plants are loaded on pickups and hauled to a local outdoor holding area.
As you can see, plant sales are a large undertaking, but we have devised a strategy for spreading out the work, so that it is not a burden on anyone. This strategy obviously requires a formidable team effort, but the reward is considerable. We meet lots of interesting people and learn about a large variety of native plant species. Also, member-volunteers get to shop for plants on Friday, ahead of the crowd on Saturday. This is an important perk, when you see how fast the inventory disappears on Saturday morning!
How can you help? Click here to see a complete listing of volunteer jobs. Please indicate your volunteer interest(s) and day(s) available, and click submit.
We will also be circulating volunteer forms at our monthly meetings.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Upstate Chapter Plant Sale Management