Native Plant Salvages

What is a salvage?

Our volunteers salvage small native trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants from local areas that are scheduled for clearing due to development. Salvages are a great way to practice plant identification, and to meet some fellow plant nerds. We'll keep you well fed all day with hot soup and snacks!

The plants are cared for and later provided to community groups who use them to restore habitat and improve water quality. Plants are also used to support NPSP sponsored projects such as Learning Landscapes, Demonstration Gardens and habitat restoration projects in and around Thurston County. Volunteers are also welcome to salvage plants for their home landscaping projects.

When and where do they happen?

Salvages usually happen in the cold winter months, when the plants are dormant and less likely to perish from the stress of being moved around.

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Salvages take place in two parts; first at the salvage site (9:30 until about 12:30) and second at our plant nursery (generally from 1 p.m. until about 3:30). Volunteers are invited to help for however long they feel capable; whether that's all day, or for just one part! We appreciate your contribution, however long you can stay.

Part 1:  We meet at 9:30 a.m. at the salvage site (directions provided upon registration). Volunteers are trained on-site how to properly identify and dig up desired native plants. We usually finish salvaging on site around noon, and provide a hot vegetarian lunch for our hungry volunteers.  Once plants have been salvaged, we transport them to our holding-beds facility, which is our plant nursery, to pot the recovered plants.  We are grateful to the Washington State Department of Transportation for sharing this space with us.

Part 2: Usually from around 1 - 3:30 p.m., volunteers join us at the NPSF’s nursery to learn how to properly pot the salvaged plants, and then help to organize them for later distribution. This is a great way to learn and practice native plant ID. During this time, volunteers continue to help themselves to hot soup and other snacks as necessary to keep themselves fueled for the work at hand!


Salvages have ended for Winter-Spring of 2017, stay tuned for next year!

This past season, we salvaged on February 4, February 12, February 26, and March 5.

Due to agreements with the developers, we don't publicly release the site location. Following registration, you will receive more information and detailed directions.