The resurgence of the native plant community in South Puget Sound remnant prairies has not naturally followed the removal of weedy species. It has become clear that re-establishing a native dominance on these prairies will largely be dependent on replanting and seeding. For many years this plant material was the limiting factor to prairie restoration in the region with the small nursery efforts unable keep up with restoration demand. A regional nursery program was needed and through a pooling of resources by non-profit, state and federal agencies the South Sound conservation nursery was initiated.
The Center for Natural Lands Management (CNLM) has a strong tradition of accomplishing conservation goals through regional partnerships and this strategy was used to found and grow the nursery. With the sustained support of the Department of Defense and the US Fish and Wildlife Service, CNLM has built a nursery program that delivers seed and plants to restore hundreds of acres of prairie each year. Our coalition of partners includes state and federal agencies, universities, municipalities, non-profits, and private land owners and the nursery currently utilizes seven farms and greenhouse sites including prison facilities, land owned by conservation organizations, and leased private land. Seed production included wild collection, increase beds, and agricultural production throughout these sites with species representative of five ecoregions and a significant increase in production in 2016 as well as a new seed storage facility.