The Virginia Department of Forestry (DOF) is pleased to announce that the Throwing Shade VA program, which offers discounts on native trees and shrubs, is growing.
In 2024, DOF will expand participation to 10 retail nurseries. Next spring, from March 1 through May 1, customers can visit a participating nursery, choose an eligible native tree or shrub, and scan the QR code to receive a discount of $25 on purchases of $50 or more.
Earlier this year, a pilot run of Throwing Shade VA was launched with three retail nurseries: Burke Nursery & Garden Center (Burke), Woodstock Gardens (Woodstock) and Coastal Landscapes (Virginia Beach). During the two-month pilot, 1,555 natives were purchased and planted across Virginia.
Funded through state water quality improvement dollars, DOF reimburses participating nurseries for the customer discounts. The program incentivizes customers to buy and plant native species in the Commonwealth that in turn provide numerous benefits to our ecosystem and watersheds.
“We are very pleased to expand the successful Throwing Shade VA program that helps the Virginia Department of Forestry spread the word about the benefits of choosing natives while allowing us to measure progress towards Virginia's water and Chesapeake Bay watershed goals,” said DOF Urban and Community Forestry Partnership Coordinator Molly O’Liddy. “Last year’s successful pilot resulted in getting more than 1,500 trees in the ground that will provide shade, reduce temperatures and offer more ecosystem benefits, especially for essential pollinators.”
"Throwing Shade VA provides an inroad for customers to learn more about natives,” said John Fogle with Woodstock Gardens. “Also, the program provided a way for younger gardeners to afford purchasing native trees and shrubs. We couldn't have been more pleased with the program and we can't wait to see it take off again. We already have customers asking when it's coming back."