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.
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For more than 29 years, the shelves and displays of AFTOSA have brimmed with both popular and hard-to-find art supplies. Specializing in ceramics, AFTOSA's staffers decorate the venue with clay-based works of art from various artists, and offer a variety of products, including ceramic, polymer, and resin, as well as books on ceramic design and tools such as pottery sealants and turntables.
Along with ceramic gear, AFTOSA equips customers with premade wood and metal tile products, glazes, and display products.
As part of a family of 4,600 stores, Oliver’s Ace Hardware fulfills the company’s mission to be “the Helpful Place” by equipping DIY-enthusiasts with everything they need to keep their homes, vehicles, and lawns going strong. Shoppers can pick up nearly anything they might need, from nuts and bolts to riding lawnmowers made by trusted brands such as Craftsman, Troy-Bilt, and Black & Decker.
Though Joe Alexander has worked in the mattress industry for years, he opened Nest Bedding to be unlike all the others. He achieves that by making sure the shop's sock of memory-foam and latex mattresses are entirely organic and made with nontoxic materials that are only dangerous to monsters trying to hide beneath them. The store's staffers, for their part, never pressure customers to make a purchase, and instead help them decide on the perfect bed only when they're ready. Visitors to each Nest show room will find a wide assortment of mattresses, naturally derived sheets, pillows, and crib bedding. For a bed that fits their sleeping style perfectly, Build-A-Nest kits allow guests to assemble their own organic mattresses to specification, from the base layer underneath to the comfort layers and cottony covering on top.
Just like the organism from which it takes its name, Amoeba Music?s stock of tunes has no definite form. At each location, expert music gurus?many of them musicians themselves, all of them record-store veterans and dedicated sonic obsessives?amass thousands of new and used CDs and LPs from the most mainstream artists to the most obscure underground bands around. LPs, posters, and memorabilia surround the musical inventory, which, like Ringo Starr?s pants, changes every day. Amoeba buys goods from customers, meaning that on any given day the store might usher in a rare vinyl LP, DVD, VHS, or even LaserDisc. Visitors can sign up for any number of contests while admiring Amoeba?s enduring dedication to its green practices and community outreach. Amoeba couples its huge selection of entertainment with visits from the artists themselves, welcoming past guests such as Paul McCartney, Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords, and Elvis Costello to play in-store.