Native Plant Salvage Program
I am sad to say that the King County Native Plant Salvage Program has come to end. Thank you for your volunteer support of the program during it’s 25 years of operation. Over the life of the program, it has been very successful in its mission to salvage and facilitate the reuse of locally sourced native plants, to educate the public about the value of using native species and to encourage community involvement and stewardship. At its inception, it also provided a much needed source of native plants that were not generally available at commercial nurseries for both the volunteers and King County. The program was able to pay for itself by recouping its operating costs from the “sale” of plants to internal King County programs that used them in their restoration efforts. Volunteers like you salvaged and planted tens of thousands of the rescued plants in public parks, on trials and back yards all over King County. Thank you so much for your hard work and dedication to helping make this a great place to live.
That said, the cost of operating the program has increased each year while demand for the plants it provides has decreased. Despite the many benefits of the program, many of those who used the program in the past have opted to obtain materials from private, native plant nurseries that are now more abundant and can provide a wider selection with convenient ordering and delivery service for a comparable price. The combination of increased costs and declining revenues have depleted a program surplus that has sustained the program for the last five years. When we learned that we would need to relocate the nursery and analyzed the cost of building a functional facility elsewhere, it became evident that we simply could not make the program financially viable as it had been structured. We looked at numerous other business models and even sought out alternate sponsors for the program. Unfortunately, all of the solutions we found required a significant infusion of money and an annual subsidy from already overcommitted public funds. While we greatly value the benefits of the program, we could not justify the cost given the availability of high quality native plants from other sources. It was a difficult decision to make, but one that ultimately had to be made to make the best use of limited public funds.
Thank you again for your support of the program and your continued commitment to environmental stewardship.
Cynthia Young, Ecologist
King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks201 South Jackson Street, Suite 60, Seattle, Washington 98104
- Learn how to shrink your lawn with native plants
- Go Native plant guide
- Donate native plants to the salvage program
- Live stake cutting and planting tips
- Native plant resources
- Where to get native plants
- Native plant identification, propagation & landscaping (external link)
- Thurston County Native Plant Salvage Program (external link)
- Pierce County Native Plant Salvage Program (external link)