What We Do

Home Ground Habitats is still searching for a permanent nursery space, but despite limited growing space at a private home, our volunteers are still propagating approximately 50 different species of natives from seeds, cuttings or divisions. These plants are lovingly grown and will establish beautifully when planted out during the rainy season, providing resources for native creatures and helping to recreate safe corridors between open wild lands - one garden at a time!

Home Ground’s team of volunteer propagators meet and work together twice a month throughout the year. We grow hundreds of native plants that are sold to raise funds to support the Marin Chapter of the California Native Plant Society. In the past, Marin CNPS simply purchased plants from commercial nurseries for resale; now Home Ground Habitats grows about 75% of the plants that are offered for sale at their twice-yearly fundraising plant sales.

We've also grown plants for local restoration projects supported by Marin CNPS. In 2013 seeds were collected at Ring Mountain for an on-going grasslands restoration; using these site-specific propagules, we grew Naked Buckwheat (Eriogonum nudum), Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), and Blue Wild Rye (Elymus glaucus), all in small "cone-tainers" to facilitate planting out into uncultivated areas. A number of our dedicated propagators also helped with the out-planting just to make sure our "babies" (800 in total) are off to a good start on Ring Mountain.

Home Ground volunteers grow about 75 Coyote Brush (Baccharis pilularis) each year since 2013 for Marin Audubon Society's restoration projects along Atherton Ave. and at Bahia in Novato.  We're growing Coyote Brush from seed or seedlings collected in Novato; thus assuring both local genetic stock, and a mix of male and female plants in this dioecious species. Most of the Coyote Brush offered in the nursery trade are male plants, grown from cuttings; this deprives wildlife of a rich resource (nectar and seeds) available in the fall, when there's not much else out there!

We're also working with the City of Novato’s Streetscape Committee to re-landscape a number of the traffic islands with California native plants. Novato is forward-thinking in this regard; a committee of volunteers coordinates with the city to find individuals or businesses that are willing to take on a traffic island or median planting. With support from city staff, volunteers do the work of planning, installing, and maintaining a landscape updated with drought-tolerant native plants. The intent behind these native traffic island plantings is to help create corridors for wildlife to move more easily between open spaces.

We donate plants to other non-profits who raise money through plant sales to support their charitable work. For a number of years now we have contributed dozens of beautiful plants to In-Spirit in San Geronimo Valley. This organization helps support people who are home-bound due to injury or illness.

In 2013 we also donated plants for gardens at St. Paul's Church and Nursery School, the Canal Community Garden in San Rafael, and the Brain Injury Network in Larkspur. We also donated plants to help create a native medicinal demonstration garden in Pt. Reyes Station.

We supported a school garden program at Occidental Arts and Ecology with a donation of plants and seeds, and we supplied native wildflower seeds for a children's "Habitat Float" in the Sausalito 4th of July parade.

In 2013 we also donated plants to:

  • Greenwood School in Mill Valley
  • Venetia Valley School in San Rafael
  • Marin Country Day School in Corte Madera
  • Novato High School
  • Willow Creek Academy in Sausalito
  • Hall Middle School in Corte Madera
  • St Mark's School in Terra Linda
  • Manor School in Fairfax

In 2014 we donated more plants to:

  • Marin Country Day School
  • St. Mark's School
  • Strawberry Point School in Mill Valley
  • Venetia Valley School
  • Marin School in San Rafael

In addition, we've donated plants to help create habitat at Green String Farm in Petaluma and helped the Riverkeeper's Project restore habitat along the Russian River.

In 2015 we donated plants to:

  • Strawberry Point School in Mill Valley
  • Manor School in Fairfax
  • Marin Country Day School in Corte Madera
  • Ross Elementary School
  • Marin SEL Native Garden’s program at Terra Linda High School

In 2016 – 2017 we’ve donated plants and native seeds to:

  • Wildcare headquarters on Albert Lane in San Rafael
  • Olive School in Novato
  • Marin Country Day School in Corte Madera
  • Terra Linda High School’s Marin SEL program
  • Novato Streetscape projects at Alameda del Prado and Redwood Blvd.
  • SMART Train station at Hamilton in Novato 

Home Ground is also actively engaged with SPAWN and supports their efforts both with plant and seed donations for some of their restoration projects and with educational outreach to Bay Area teachers by helping with various workshops. In January 2017 we held two workshops on creating Pollinator Gardens at SPAWN headquarters beside Lagunitas Creek.

We’ve also supported a local San Geronimo Valley group, the Extra-A-Gators, by donating 74 Coyote Brush (Baccharis pilularis) plants to their organization. This grass-roots organization encourages and helps homeowners to remove the non-native and very invasive broom plants from their property – and right away replant the areas with Coyote Brush, which is native and supports over 400 species of native insects as well as providing nectar, pollen, and seeds for all sorts of wildlife!

Home Ground Habitats is currently growing California natives for the all-native landscape at the future Wildcare facility on Smith Ranch Road in San Rafael. The project will come together in stages over the next few years with initial groundbreaking taking place this summer. By the fall of 2017, the first of these plants will go into the ground at the front entry and in swales throughout the parking lots.