Interested in a way to celebrate spring while helping conserve the Vineyard’s native plants? Consider volunteering on Saturday, April 6, from 10 a.m. to noon at The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC’s) Native Plant Nursery. The Conservancy needs help opening the nursery for the year: clearing out and composing dead leaves and stalks from last season, cleaning up beds and planting seeds in “conetainers” for later distribution to members of the Vineyard Habitat Network. This is also a chance to meet some like-minded gardeners who share your conservation perspective.

The Native Plant Nursery is located on TNC’s Hoft Farm preserve at 74 Lambert’s Cove Road in West Tisbury. The driveway, marked by a Hoft Farm Field Station sign, is on the east side of the road just down-Island from the entrance to the Land Bank’s Duarte’s Pond Preserve. TNC’s land steward, Liz Loucks, and Habitat Network program manager, Brian Lawlor, will host the event, guiding volunteer work, sharing their knowledge of native plants, and answering questions about the Conservancy, the Habitat Network or the Vineyard’s interesting native flora.

The work will not be strenuous but will require repeated kneeling and standing, as well as the use of hand pruners. Light snacks and beverages will be provided. Among the species you can expect to get acquainted with are sickle-leaved golden-aster, big bluestem grass and Indian grass. The nursery, which has been in operation since 2001, currently houses more than 30 native species, though most will just be breaking dormancy at this point in the season. Seeds and plants from the nursery are used to enrich the plant life on Conservancy restoration projects and, increasingly, to create populations of native plants in the yards of Vineyard Habitat Network partners.

Please RSVP to Liz Loucks at or 508-274-6919. The rain date for this event is April 13, which will also be a “resumption date” if more work remains to be done. Stay tuned for similar opportunities for volunteers throughout the season.