Since its formation in 1975, the Cranbrook House & Gardens Auxiliary Native Plant Rescue program has been committed to saving, growing, and educating on the importance of native plants. Native Plant Rescue volunteers trek through ankle-deep mud, secluded woods, and pouring rain, often during frigid temperatures, to rescue plants from being wiped out at construction or other endangered sites. The rescued plants are then sold at the Annual Spring Plant Sale in mid-May, planted in the Native Plant/Wildflower Garden or other gardens at Cranbrook, or donated to school gardens, community gardens, or nature centers.
One of the oldest and most successful programs of its kind, the Cranbrook House & Gardens Auxiliary now needs your help to continue our native plant preservation work. Here is how:
Volunteer at Dig Sites
Native plant rescue digging begins in late April and runs five days a week, for three weeks leading up to the Annual Spring Plant Sale in mid-May. Volunteers meet at Cranbrook House & Gardens where they receive directions to the day’s dig site. The volunteers then carpool (yet another sustainable act!) to the site and receive instruction from the native plant volunteer leader. The actual digging window lasts about an hour. Afterwards, all plants are loaded and returned to Cranbrook House & Gardens. The digging commitment is about three to four hours each time, including the commute (some of the dig sites are about 45 minutes away).
Volunteer in the Native Plant/Wildflower Garden
Potters, gardeners and propagators are all welcome. If you can’t spend all morning digging, please consider helping us pot for an hour, or perhaps work in one of our wildflower gardens propagating rare plants or pulling out the dreaded garlic mustard and other weeds.
Volunteer during the Annual Spring Plant Sale
Individuals knowledgeable about native plants/wildflowers are also needed to help during the Annual Spring Plant Sale.
Recommend Dig Sites
If you know of a potential site, please send Cranbrook House & Gardens Auxiliary the address/contact info by calling 248.645.3149 or emailing email@example.com. Dig sites are becoming fewer in number and further away. If you own property with native plants or know of a potential location, please reach out to the Cranbrook House & Gardens Auxiliary.
Shop and Plant Native and/or Make a Donation
Purchase native plants at the Annual Spring Plant Sale and plant them in your own garden. Even adding a small section to your existing plantings helps. We would also welcome financial or native plant donations to help support our efforts.
Please visit our website to learn more about our native plant program and volunteer opportunities: https://housegardens.cranbrook.edu/support/native-plants
- Outdoor Recreation
- Habitat Restoration
- Environmental Education
Good Match For
Requirements & Commitment
- Must be at least 16