What is a salvage?
Our volunteers salvage small native trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants from local areas scheduled for clearing. Salvages are a great way to practice plant identification and to meet fellow plant nerds. We'll keep you well-fed all day with hot soup and snacks!
The plants are cared for and eventually used by NPSP and other community groups to restore habitat and improve water quality 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.
Salvages take place in two parts; first at the salvage site and second at our plant nursery. 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 in the morning 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: In the afternoon 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!