How to Conduct a Plant Reintroduction with the Help of Volunteers

Seana Walsh, National Tropical Botanical Garden

When conducting plant reintroductions with the help of volunteers it is useful to do a measure of advance planning. Considerations might include such items as taking into account how many volunteers are attending and making sure that there are enough tools and gloves available. It is important to be certain that each plant is labeled with a unique id that corresponds to a field tag. It is good practice to survey the reintroduction site in advance and place the field tags where the plants will go. On the day of planting, explain the full protocol, from how to clean boots going into (and leaving) the site, to how to best remove the plant from its pot and orient it in the new setting. On site, consider providing snacks and taking group photos. After the planting show appreciation for the received assistance by sending a thank you note or following up after six months with a picture of how well the plants are doing. Showing appreciation for the volunteers will likely encourage them to return and volunteer again.