Bee Wise…Plant Natives

First 50 visitors to event in Courthouse Courtyard on June 8 will receive a free native perennial Allegheny County and the Penn State Master Gardeners will present "Bee Wise...Plant Natives," a free program that will teach the value of bees as pollinators, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 8, in the Allegheny County Courtyard at 436 Grant Street in Downtown Pittsburgh. Burgh Bees, which partners with Penn State Cooperative Extension, will also be in the Courtyard with samples of different varieties of honey. Representatives will help participants learn to identify different native bees that visit area gardens. During the event, master gardeners will also provide information on the importance of using native plants in landscaping and how to incorporate environmentally-friendly practices in garden maintenance. The first 50 visitors to the event will receive a native perennial.  In 2009, the four existing planters in the Allegheny County Courthouse Courtyard were retrofitted and converted into rain gardens. Four downspouts were diverted into existing planters, and the beds were filled with new soil and drainage material. Drought tolerant native plants were then placed in the new rain gardens.