Our DC-Area Work
The Earth Sangha operates a volunteer-based ecological restoration program for the greater Washington, DC, region. The program is designed to conserve and restore the native plant communities that are essential to the region's ecological health. At the heart of the program is our Wild Plant Nursery, the region’s most comprehensive source of native plants propagated from local, wild seed. In addition to local-ecotype native plant propagation, we help stabilize streams, control invasive alien plants, and restore forests, meadows, and wetlands. Our DC-area restoration work attracts over 600 volunteers annually, and has reached about 50 sites, nearly all of them on public lands.
All of our field work is designed for public participation, as a venue for environmental education. Check out our Field Schedule for upcoming volunteer events.
The Native Arboretum project is located at the Marie Butler Leven Preserve, in the McLean section of Fairfax County, Virginia. The project began in 2004, and is based on an agreement between the Fairfax County Park Authority, which owns the Preserve, and the Earth Sangha. The aim of the project is to transform the Preserve into an extensive collection of plants native to the greater Washington, DC, region. Click here to learn more!
We work on public lands in the Washington, DC, region to restore and protect native plant communities. We focus on managing vegetation, but our work also benefits animal wildlife, both terrestrial and aquatic. Click here to learn more about our forest, meadow, and stream-buffer restoration efforts.
Wild Plant Nursery
Our Wild Plant Nursery provides the most comprehensive selection of local-ecotype native plants for ecological restoration in the Washington, DC, region. All plants are grown from seed that we collect, with permission, from natural areas in the DC region. We are currently propagating some 320 species of native trees, shrubs, vines, and herbaceous plants. Click here to learn more!
We have been working with DC-area schools since 2005, to promote ecological literacy through environmental education and schoolyard greening. We also work with students in the field. We host volunteer events for secondary school students, and field trips for grade school children. We work with university students through internships and service learning events. Click here to learn more!
The Sangha hosts regular meditation sessions, along with discussions about what it means to live in a responsible way. Our meditation sessions are led by Lisa Bright, who has been recognized as a teacher by the Chogye Order of Zen Buddhism, the main Buddhist monastic order in South Korea. Although our practice derives loosely from Zen, it is nondenominational. Click here to learn more!
We work with over 600 volunteers every year, and these people are crucial to just about everything that we do in the DC area. Volunteers help run our Wild Plant Nursery. On our field sites, volunteers help restore degraded forest and meadow, replant stream buffers, and, increasingly, they help collect field data. Click here to view our current Field Schedule.
Banner: Various native goldenrods draw monarch butterflies to a powerline meadow in Fairfax County, Virginia. Photo by Lisa Bright.