Like so many other areas of our chapter’s work, Native Here Nursery—our nonprofit outlet for plants native to Alameda and Contra Costa counties—faced unanticipated challenges this year.
For the safety of volunteers and customers, the nursery switched from in-person to online sales. That’s quick and easy to say, but it involved a lot of innovation and hard work to achieve, all by volunteers. To support online ordering, we undertook a complete redesign of the nursery’s website, an investment not only in the present, but also the future. Other customer-focused projects included expanding the information available on plant cards—the signs around the nursery that describe each type of plant—to include gardening and pollinator information, as well as continuing adjustments to Native Here’s inventory to offer a combination of popular plants and less-known or unusual ones that we think our customers might like.
For the health of the plants as well as the volunteers who work with them, our exceptional volunteer crew also established socially-distanced work stations for each volunteer potter; rebuilt the soil storage area, which includes a soil sterilizer; and built or rebuilt storage sheds, all to improve sanitation and/or work-flow efficiency. All of this work was done by volunteers and all at a time when working together has meant observing strict coronavirus precautions.
If you haven’t visited Native Here Nursery’s new website, we encourage you to do so soon. Fall and winter are the prime planting seasons here in the East Bay, and the nursery has a great inventory of locally native trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, grasses, ferns, vines, and bulbs.
— December 2020