Become a Native Plant Steward


I just received the press release that the Washington Native Plant Society will be offering Native Plant Stewardship training again this spring. I completed this program in 2001 and it is invaluable – both to myself personally, since I grew up in the woods with these plants but never knew much about them, and it also teaches you how to preserve and protect our wonderful native plants and work with the public in this effort.

According to their web site, the King County Stewardship Program will be working with City of Seattle Parks and the Green Seattle Initiative, so much of the volunteer effort will be focused on urban forest restoration in six Seattle Parks. There is a separate training program for Snohomish County.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Native Plant Stewardship Program Offers Free Education and Habitat Restoration Skills

Are you interested in the native plants in your community and taking on the challenge of restoring Seattle’s forested parklands? The Washington Native Plant Society is now accepting applications for the 2008 Native Plant Forest Stewardship Program. This year, as in 2007, WNPS will partner with Seattle Parks and Recreation, Cascade Land Conservancy and the Green Seattle Partnership.

In an exciting and extensive ten-week training program, you’ll learn and experience first-hand how to identify native plants; the importance of soils; how to propagate, plant and care for native plants; the functions and benefits of wetlands and forests; how to remove invasive plants; tips on educating the public; which native plants work well in urban settings (and attract wildlife); how to train and lead volunteers, and how to restore and monitor a variety of habitats. Expert training is through lectures, workshops and field trips.

The 10-week program is free in exchange for a 100-hour volunteer commitment within King County—most of which will take place in a Seattle Park. Following the training, teams of stewards will be assigned 1-acre sites in identified Seattle Parks where they will fulfill their volunteer commitments through designing and implementing native plant restoration plans.

Classes will be held on Fridays from 8:30am until 4:30pm at South Seattle Community College. Classes will begin Friday, April 25, 2007 and will run until June 27th, including three all-day Saturday field trips.

All applications for this Native Plant Forest Stewardship training are due by 5pm Tuesday, April 2nd to Washington Native Plant Society, 6310 NE 74th Street, Suite 215E, Seattle, WA 98115 or by emailed to npsp_KC@wnps.org. Download an application from Washington Native Plant Society at www.wnps.org or email Stewardship Coordinator, Deb Gurney at nsps_KC@wnps.org.

“This program gives stewards the tools and confidence they need to teach others about native plants and lead projects that improve our streams, lakes, parks, forests, soil and air, and make us proud to live in our neighborhoods,” said Gary Smith, Chair of the Washington Native Plant Society’s Stewardship Program. “We encourage all native plant enthusiasts to apply, as well as volunteers who are working on or want to start a restoration project. The more we can educate and train people to provide this type of preventive care, we’re keeping the tax burden down for everyone—now and in the future—with benefits that will last well past our lifetimes.”

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