PlantRight works with California's nursery industry to keep invasive plants off our landscapes and to promote the sale of exclusively non-invasive alternatives.
Alex Simmons (Stubblefield)
Alex has been the PlantRight program manager since October 2019 when she oversaw the transition of the program from Sustainable Conservation to Plant California Alliance. In 2021, she successfully relaunched the PlantRight retail nursery survey, and shortly after was promoted to Associate Director of Plant California Alliance. Alex currently serves on all Plant California Alliance committees including PlantRight, CCN Pro, Research, and Scholarships. In addition to Plant California Alliance, Alex is the Executive Adminstrator for the International Plant Propagator’s Society, Western Region. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems from UC Davis and Associate’s degrees in Biological and Natural Sciences from Sierra College
Project Manager emerita
Stephanie grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and joined PlantRight in 2016. She managed PlantRight from 2016-2019 while it was at Sustainable Conservation, and is facilitating the transition of the program to its new home at Plant California Alliance while she works at Sustainable Conservation on the Accelerating Restoration program, and has joined the Steering Committee. Stephanie 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. 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 earning a masters degree from the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at UCSB.
Program Director - Plant Risk Evaluator at Sustainable Conservation
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 has been recognized as a model solution whose application could carry well beyond California’s borders. Key components of our strategy include:
Being the industry’s go-to educational resource on horticultural invasive plants and suggested alternatives.
Advocating for industry to voluntarily remove invasive plants from inventories, while promoting non-invasive alternatives.
Preventing new invasive plants from taking root, by developing and deploying a plant risk evaluator (PRE) tool, specifically for the trade.
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.
2017New website launched in August, improving our ability to educate the nursery industry, landscape designers, and the public.
2019The new home of PlantRight became Plant California Alliance, which was formed through the merger of the California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers, and the Nursery Growers Association.
2021The Spring Nursery survey was relaunched with 85 volunteers surveying 190 stores over 38 counties.
Questions? Concerns? Suggestions? Please get in touch!