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Discount program encourages residents to plant native Virginia trees

The Virginia Department of Forestry’s (DOF) 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, 2024customers 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.

For Nurseries – How to Apply
Nurseries interested in participating in Throwing Shade VA should visit the DOF website at for information on how to apply, frequently asked questions and deadlines. The deadline to apply is Dec. 14.

Additional program details include:
The deadline to respond to the request for applications (RFA) is close of business on Dec. 14.
Ensure your business is registered in the state procurement system (also known as eVA).
Following application review from our state ranking team, nurseries will be notified with an application status update by mid-January.

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 Molly O’Liddym DOF Urban and Community Forestry Partnership Coordinator.

. “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,” she said.

“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.”

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