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Norway, Iowa (October 30, 2006) — Frontier Natural Products Co-Op Vice President of Sustainability and Education, Kathy Larson, led a group of four volunteers from Frontier to rescue herbs to be bulldozed to make way for a bypass in Ohio's Wayne National Forest. In celebration of National HerbDay, the group participated in an October 14th dig for Native Plant Rescue, a project initiated by the rural Appalachian community group Rural Action. Besides taking part in the dig, Frontier has issued a $10,000 challenge-matching grant to help fund Native Plant Rescue.
The project is an attempt to save wildflowers, shrubs, ferns, and medicinal herbs from the construction of the State Highway 33 bypass, which will cut through Wayne National Forest. This habitat, Ohio's only national forest, supports a diverse array of animal and plant species, including valuable medicinal herbs such as ginseng and goldenseal and a number of endangered plants.
Jane Forrest Redfern, executive director of Rural Action, said the project helps safeguard and preserve valuable natural resources and that the level of support it has received shows it's an important issue to many people. Jane Forrest Redfern, executive director of Rural Action, said "We thank the many volunteers, partners and Wayne National Forest for making our National HerbDay celebration memorable. And we were so pleased that Frontier staff came all the way from Iowa to join us.
"Frontier has been a great partner in our work to rescue native plants and preserve this valuable natural heritage," Redfern said. "Nearly two-thirds of Frontier's $10,000 challenge grant has been met, providing valuable financial support for the project. Thank you, Frontier, and all of your members, for your valuable support."
Sixty-eight people participated in the Oct. 14 dig, which rescued over 2000 plants. About half the plants were planted in holding beds at the Wayne National Forest headquarters for use in restoration, education and demonstration projects. The other plants were planted at Strouds Run State
Park and a United Plant Savers sanctuary, or taken to be planted in the Frontier herb garden in Iowa, or on participants' private land throughout Ohio.
The transplants were handled carefully and replanted and watered the same day, so the expected survival rate is expected to be over 90%. Dozens of species were rescued, including partridge berry, maiden hair fern, goldenseal, black cohosh, dolls eyes, round lobed hepatica, rattle snake plantain, Virginia snake root, seven species of ferns, five species of sedge, wild ginger, true and false Solomon's seal, blood root, wild yam, Jacob's ladder, stonecrop, stoneroot, bellwort, woodland asters and goldenrods, spikenard, shrubs including viburnums, wahoo, hydrangea and spice bush, and cucumber magnolia saplings, and many more.
Larson also worked on Frontier's development of the 62-acre National Center for the Preservation of Medicinal Herbs in Ohio that the co-op later donated to Rural Action.
"We enthusiastically support the work Rural Action is doing for the people and environment in rural Appalachia," she said. "Native Plant Rescue is a project in keeping with our ongoing efforts to maintain the diversity of our country's natural botanical resources through preservation of native populations. We hope our matching grant and promotions for this project help provide the funds and volunteers needed to save these valuable plants from the road builder's bulldozers."
Native Plant Rescue will continue through the spring of 2007—until the trees are cleared and the bulldozing starts.
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Frontier Natural Products Co-op™
Founded in 1976 and based in Norway, Iowa, Frontier Natural Products Co-op(TM) offers a full line of natural and organic products under the Frontier, Simply Organic®, Aura Cacia® and Aura Cacia Organics® brands. Products include culinary herbs, spices and baking flavors; bulk herbs and spices; and natural and organic aromatherapy products. Frontier's goal is to provide consumers with the highest-quality organic and natural products while supporting and promoting social and environmental responsibility. For more information, visit Frontier's website at www.frontiercoop.com.