The black-tie-and-muck-boots event will start with woodland walks that highlight stunning wildflowers, like ephemeral Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica) and wood poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum).
Guests will also enjoy a cocktail reception, silent and live auctions, a gourmet dinner, desserts and a night of dancing – all for a good cause.
The Gala is the Preserve’s largest fundraiser, and over the years the community has responded by providing vital support for their mission: to inspire the use and appreciation of native plants and serve as an educational resource and sanctuary for conservation and stewardship. Last year’s Gala, whose theme was “Protecting the Gem,” raised over $150,000 to secure the Preserve’s perimeter with gates and fencing to keep browsing deer at bay.
The related 2019 theme, “Polishing the Gem,” targets the need to diversify the living native plant collection.
BHWP is the country’s only botanical garden accredited by the American Museum Association that focuses solely on native plants. Spread across 134 acres, their living collection includes about 700 species – one-third of all the native Pennsylvania plants.
“While the Preserve hosts some 60 species of rare, threatened or endangered native plants, there are many more species that are missing or underrepresented on the Preserve’s grounds,” explains Executive Director Miles Arnott.
“By ‘Curating our Natural Heritage,’ we hope to increase our collection to over 800 species native to the Delaware Valley Region, so that the common plants found today do not become rare tomorrow.”
“Now that the work to protect the Preserve from deer browse is underway, it’s time to focus on increasing the variety of plants,” says Lynn Holzner, one of this year’s Gala co-chairs. “We’re expecting the 2019 Gala to be a great success in supporting the Preserve’s seed collection, plant propagation and curatorial efforts.”
Tickets to the event will go on sale in early March.
For additional information on the fundraiser, sponsorship, or offering a donation, you can reach out to Development Director Kellie Westervelt at the Preserve, or visit their website at www.bhwp.org.
PHOTO CAP: Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve 2019 Gala Committee members.