Washington Native Plant Society Programs
Native Plant Stewardship Program
We provide extensive training on the conservation of native plants, native plant ecosystems, habitat restoration, urban forestry, and the use of native plants in landscaping to improve water quality and water conservation. Our Native Plant Stewards have provided over 108,000 documented hours of service, including 66,000 in habitat restoration. Seattle parks such as Carkeek, Interlaken, Lakeridge, Ravenna, and the West Duwamish Greenbelt have significantly benefitted from this program. We have coordinated this program for 23 years in King County and we have expanded it to Snohomish and Pierce counties in recent years.
Membership and Volunteer Programs
Education is a mainstay of our work—both inside the organization and reaching out to other partners and the public. Our chapters provide monthly programs, informative newsletters, plant sales, and field trips across the state. We maintain a comprehensive website with resources about landscaping with native plants, plant lists for popular hikes, and other information. We offer study weekends, educational workshops, and sell specialist books and popular field guides.
Funding Conservation, Research, and Education Projects
We provide small grants that leverage on the ground conservation and restoration projects such as propagating and planting salt marsh plants to help restore salmon habitat and removing ivy, re-vegetating cleared areas, and getting kids involved in local parks. We provide key support for basic research, such as a study on the effects of invasive blackberries on native pollination webs, and for vital botanical reference collections, such as a digital library of Pacific Northwest native plant seeds. Our education grants support nature trails and native plant gardens at schools and other public areas across the state.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
This past year we offered our popular Native Plant Stewardship Program in eastern King County. The cities of Issaquah, Sammamish, Bellevue, Kirkland, and Redmond provided support. Steward teams have been assigned to each city to work on habitat restoration projects. Demand for these well-trained volunteer leaders is ever-increasing. This year we are working cooperatively with Seattle Parks and King Conservation District. Our Steward teams will be working in Magnuson, Lincoln, Sturtevant and West Crest parks, and Kubota Gardens’ natural areas. One team will be working with landowners adjacent to selected Seattle Parks to create forest buffer zones.
Each year we provide seed money for native plant conservation, research, and education projects undertaken by students, teachers, and other community members and volunteers.
We coordinated the seventh annual Native Plant Appreciation Week this year, with official proclamations from the Governor and from jurisdictions around the state. Throughout the year, our chapters offer over 250 wildflower walks, botanical presentations, and other activities that are free or low cost and open to everyone.
Community support is vital to all our operations.