Christina Kohler joined the PlantRight team in May 2016. She graduated a semester early from UC Berkeley in December 2015 with a simultaneous degree in Environmental Economics & Policy and Molecular Environmental Biology (emphasis – Ecology) and a minor in Conservation & Resource Studies. Before coming to PlantRight, Christina had some experience eradicating invasive species near Yosemite with the Sierra Club and in South Africa with Wildlands Studies. Christina grew up in a small town in Ohio, spending most of her time outdoors. She is passionate about research, community service, and working to protect the environment.
Stephanie grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and joined PlantRight in 2016. She received a B.S. in Environmental Science with a minor in Conservation Biology from UCLA before working as an outdoor educator in Ohio for two years. While in Ohio she handled and cared for owls, and learned everything she could about the plants and animals in the Glen Helen Nature Preserve where she lived. Stephanie has also worked in Vermont mapping invasive plants and completed an internship with Students and Teachers Restoring a Watershed (STRAW), a project of Point Blue Conservation Science. While working with STRAW she became very familiar with California’s native plants and spent a lot of time removing invasive species by hand. Before joining PlantRight, she earned a masters degree from the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at UCSB.
Senior Project Manager
Jan joined Sustainable Conservation in 2013 to further the development, promotion and implementation of initiatives that solve environmental problems in ways that make economic sense. She brings 20-plus years of sales and marketing experience, at several early-stage companies, spanning consumer product, e-commerce, green building and nonprofit sectors. Her unique breadth of leadership experience – in sales and sales systems, product development and helping organizations drive positive behavior change – is well suited to advance our (and our partners’) missions. Most recently Jan worked at California’s venerable land trust, Sempervirens Fund. Having held senior sales and business development roles at Aerobie, Koosh, EcoRebates and Positive Coaching Alliance, Jan brings a proven track record in partnering with some of the nation’s most-recognized names in the corporate and non-profit industries. In 1996 she founded ThinkingOfU, an online retailer, which she later sold to a venture-funded competitor. Jan attended Amherst College (where she was captain of the tennis team), and graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in Communication.
PlantRight™ was designed by an alliance of leaders from the horticulture industry, environmental groups, scientists, and government agencies. This group, known as California Horticultural Invasives Prevention (Cal-HIP), acts as a steering committee for PlantRight and convenes on a quarterly basis.
These Allies in Planting Right support PlantRight in many ways, including sharing educational materials and awareness of PlantRight, being a part of our Steering Committee and Plant List Committee, and volunteering in the annual nursery survey.
Since 2005 PlantRight™ has been working to stop the sale of horticultural invasive plants in ways that are good for business and the environment. Though nearly half of California’s invasive plants were originally introduced through horticultural channels, no cohesive effort previously existed to work with the nursery industry to prevent the spread of invasive plants in the state.
PlantRight unites leaders from California’s nursery and landscape industries, conservation groups, academia, and government agencies to find common ground and cost-effective solutions. Recognizing that prevention is the most effective way to combat their spread, PlantRight offers an opportunity for the nursery industry to take the lead on this issue, while protecting California’s unique biodiversity and curtailing the need for regulation.
PlantRight’s model has been recognized as a solution whose application could carry well beyond California’s borders. PlantRight was highlighted in a report to the U.S. Department of the Interior developed by the National Invasive Species Council as a promising model to prevent the sale and spread of invasives. PlantRight has also been looked to by a governor-appointed taskforce in Arizona as a model that could greatly benefit their state. Environmental groups and horticulture businesses in Utah, Texas, Michigan, Washington, and Florida have also expressed interest in modeling partnerships after PlantRight.
PlantRight has the potential to alter the direction of an entire industry and cultivate a truly pioneering model for collaborative, balanced conservation and the protection of natural resources. As PlantRight continues to build support, key components of its strategy include:
Engaging nursery leaders to voluntarily remove known invasive plants from their inventories and replace them with non-invasive alternatives.
Preventing the introduction of new invasive plants by designing, testing and deploying an easy-to-administer tool to screen new plants for their invasive properties.
Communicating our impact to accelerate interest on the part of additional plant growers and retailers to participate in the PlantRight program.
2005The Nature Conservancy California reaches out to Sustainable Conservation about using our collaborative approach to tackle the problem of invasive ornamental plants. The PlantRight Steering Committee (Cal-HIP) California Horticultural Invasives Prevention is formed with members from the horticultural industry, plant scientists, growers, retailers, conservation groups, and government agencies.
2006The PlantRight brand is introduced, and the initial Plant List of 19 invasive garden plants and suggested alternatives is released.
2008Plant Risk Evaluator (PRE) research begins at the University of Washington under the guidance of Cal-HIP member Professor Sarah Reichard and PhD. candidate Lizbeth Seebacher, with the goal to provide the industry with a practical, highly accurate assessment tool to determine a plants's invasive risk in any regional marketplace.
2009PlantRight conducts its first annual survey of garden centers in California to determine the presence of invasive plants at retail. The survey included 75 stores in 27 counties.
201073 stores in 27 counties were surveyed, and it was determined that we need to survey at least 191 nurseries to obtain statistically significant results.
2012PRE research transitions to University of California, Davis, led by Professor Joseph DiTomaso and PhD. candidate Christiana Conser.
2013Retail Nursery Partnership program is launched with free online training for retail partners.
2014The Plant List is updated for the first time in several years, and adds its first "emerging invasive," Stipa/Nassella tenuissima.
2015The Home Depot (California) becomes a Retail Nursery Partner. PRE model research (Conser et al.) is published in PLOS One in March. The National PRE Advisory Group is recruited to help PlantRight define an execute a deployment strategy for PRE.
2016Lowe's Home Improvement and OSH in California become PlantRight Retail Nursery Partners. Online Plant Risk Evaluator and database beta testing and partner recruitment is underway.
Questions? Concerns? Suggestions? Please get in touch!