While other graduate students buried their noses in musty library books, Laura Hanson and Diana Benner muddied their knees in the wetlands and eelgrass habitats around San Francisco. Their research led to their respective degrees—MS in ecology and systematics, MS in environmental science—as well as a deep understanding of the inner workings of California’s ecological systems. The pair opened The Watershed Nursery with the aim of helping those ecosystems flourish.
Together with a team of botanical specialists, Laura and Diana oversee habitat restoration and enhancement projects. They specialize in growing native and site-specific California plants, as well as drought-tolerant species that thrive on the sustenance found in sunlight and loving glances. In addition to ready-to-plant items, the nursery can grow site-specific plants for a difficult area or create custom seed selections, among other services.
To further The Watershed Nursery’s mission of “habitat enhancement,” team members participate in environmentally responsible projects within the community, such as the restoration of Breuner Marsh and mitigation projects in Sycamore Grove and Portola Park. Staff members also aid the Earth in everyday practices, as they collect used plant containers from customers for additional uses and second careers as eco-friendly badminton birdies.