The South Sound conservation nurseries are the result of a collaboration of land managers interested in a steady supply of regionally adapted native prairie plants and seeds. Prior to inception of the program there existed a number of small nursery efforts to produce plant material for South Sound prairie restoration. These efforts were not positioned to scale up to the size required for effective region-wide restoration. A regional nursery program was needed and through a pooling of resources by non-profit, state and federal agencies the South Sound conservation nursery program was initiated.
The conservation nursery is now a joint effort of the Center for Natural Lands Management (CNLM) and the Sustainability in Prison’s Project (SPP) with the majority of financial support coming from the Department of Defense and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The nursery program is a collaboration of two major efforts: the production of native plant plugs, managed by the Sustainability in Prisons Project; and the production of native prairie seed managed by the Center for Natural Lands Management. The program currently utilizes seven separate farm and greenhouse sites for production including prison facilities, land owned by the organizations and leased private land. Additionally, the program contracts private growers for large scale production of native grass seed.