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Growing Stewardship

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.


For field events, we collaborate with schools across the DC region, for work on field sites in northern Virginia and the District. We work with teachers to reach two objectives: an age-appropriate understanding of ecology and conservation, and tangible progress in the field, usually through restoration plantings or invasives removal.


For schoolyard greening projects, we supply local-ecotype native plants, grown at our Wild Plant Nursery, to schools throughout the DC region. We can also advise on species choice and general design (but we are not garden designers). Our plants are used to improve school landscapes and to create educational native-plant displays.


If you are a DC-area educator interested in planning an event for your students or a garden for your school, please get in touch. Email us at or call us at 703.333.3022. And please note that we will be able to help you best if you contact us as early in your planning as possible.


Schoolyard Gardens:


Native plant gardens are a great tool for teaching students about local ecosystems and fostering environmental stewardship. We supply schools in the greater DC area with native plants from our Wild Plant Nursery; we can also offer advice on how to landscape with native plants. If your school is organizing a native plant garden, please contact us as early in your planning process as possible. 

Explore our Wild Plant Nursery:


Our Wild Plant Nursery is the perfect place to introduce students to the region’s native flora. With some 320 species in propagation, our nursery is the DC area’s most comprehensive collection of local-ecotype native plants. Students can help sow seeds, prepare pots, weed, transplant, and do various other chores. Our facility is small — as is our staff — so we may not be able to accommodate large groups. Please contact us if you are interested in bringing students out to the Wild Plant Nursery.

Hands-on Experience:


We work with students in the field to help them understand basic ecology and what it's like to do "hands-on" conservation. We host both small groups and large, as well as individual internships for higher-level students. Our field sites are on public lands in northern Virginia and DC. Our current focus is our Native Arboretum project, at the Marie Butler Leven Preserve in the McLean section of Fairfax County. If you are an educator interested in planning an event for your students, please contact us.

Banner: Woodferns and mayapples dominate the forest floor along Long Branch Stream in Fairfax County, Virginia. Photo by Chris Bright.

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