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Sedgwick County

Sedgwick County
7001 W. 21st Street N.
Wichita, KS  67205
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Community Bloom & Grow Event Puts the Gas Pedal to Gardening with New Drive Thru Gardening Event

Thursday, March 11, 2021 

Swallowtail caterpillars pollinating parsley plants
Eastern Black Swallowtail caterpillars feed on the leaves of a parsley plant, a plant highlighted for the Community Bloom and Grow Event.

WICHITA — In a year when gardening has been all the rage, the importance of the availability of fresh produce and the need to support the pollinator community have been two trends that have garnered attention worldwide. “Providing food for ourselves, and the natural community of bees, butterflies, and birds that surround us has really gained importance” said Matthew McKernan, a horticulture agent with K-State Research and Extension’s office in Sedgwick County. “That is what inspired us to create this year’s Community Bloom & Grow Event,” added McKernan. “We wanted to encourage people’s interest in gardening and help them be successful, while addressing these bigger issues.”

For the Community Bloom & Grow Event the Sedgwick County Extension Master Gardeners will be offering free gardening kits to the community, filled with live plants, seeds, and bulbs. Participants will have the opportunity to pick from one of two themed garden kits - a Vegetable Garden Kit or a Pollinator Garden Kit. Each kit contains free plant material and provides information on growing the plants, online resources, and other fun giveaways.

The drive-thru-only Community Bloom & Grow Event will be held on Saturday, May 1, 2021, from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. at the Sedgwick County Extension Education Center, 21st and Ridge Road in Wichita, Kansas. Kits will be given away on a first come first serve basis, and are limited to one kit per household. A total of 500 Vegetable Garden Kits and 500 Pollinator Garden Kits are being planned for this event.

The garden kits will help first-time gardeners find success with gardening, and expand the gardening skills of longtime gardeners by providing fresh produce and support for pollinating insects throughout the Sedgwick County Community.

Both garden kits will highlight parsley, selected as the 2021 Herb of the Year by the International Herb Association. Parsley is both a well-known essential kitchen herb and an essential plant for the pollinator community. Parsley is one of the Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterfly larvae’s primary food sources, whose caterpillars feed on the leaves of parsley and other plants in the carrot family including dill and fennel. To help provide additional information on Parsley, the Herb Society of South Central Kansas will be on site during the event. 

In the case of severe inclement weather, a postponed date is set for the following day, Sunday, May 2, 2021, from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m., at the same location.


Matthew McKernan