Contact Information

Washington Rare Plant Care and Conservation
University of Washington Botanic Gardens
Box 354115
3501 NE 41st Street
Seattle, WA 98195-4115 | (206) 616-0780

Program Manager: Wendy Gibble | | (206) 897-1646
Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator: Stacy Kinsell | | (206) 616-0780

Science Advisory Board

Tara Callaway, US Fish & Wildlife Service
Peter Dunwiddie, Ph.D., Ecological Consultant & UW Affiliate Faculty
Walter Fertig, Washington Natural Heritage Program, Department of Natural Resources
Chris Lauver, Ph.D., National Park Service
Andrea Thorpe
, Ph.D., Washington Natural Heritage Program, Department of Natural Resource
Kelli Van Norman, US Bureau of Land Management, Interagency Special Status/Sensitive Species Program

Annual Reports

2018 Rare Plant Monitoring Annual Report
2018 Seed Collecting and Banking Annual Report

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“All USFS Forests in Washington State have benefited from this volunteer effort.”
— District Botanist

In 2015, the U.S. Forest Service awarded Rare Care its Regional Volunteer Award for Citizen Stewardship & Partnerships. When Lauri Malmquist, district botanist with the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, nominated Rare Care, she wrote, “As staffing and funding to the Botany/Ecology Program on the Okanogan-Wenatchee NF continue to decline, [Rare Care’s] rare plant monitoring program has played a vital role in continuing the monitoring necessary to provide critically needed information on the status of Washington State’s rare plant species. . . . Many rare plant populations have not been visited in a decade or more due to diminishing Federal funding and capacity. The scarcity of updated information on these plants puts them at risk of extirpation as a result of development, invasive species competition and other threats.”

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2003 Conservation Project of the Year Award
Rare Care
Bureau of Land Management Director Kathleen Clarke (left) and Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth present the National Conservation Project of the Year Award to then Rare Care Program Manager Carolyn Alfano March 17, 2004, in Spokane, Washington

Rare Care received the 2003 Conservation Project of the Year Award for its leadership in conservation work in Washington State. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service jointly recognized Rare Care for “providing urgent rare plant conservation through methods including rare plant monitoring, ex situ conservation, reintroduction, and education.”

“Rare Care has demonstrated a unique approach to harness the energy and interest of volunteers to help in native plant conservation.”
— Nominating Team

Selected articles about Rare Care

Award honors hundreds of citizen scientists who search for Washington’s rarest plants
Rare pygmy saxifrage found
US Forest Service honors Rare Care for monitoring rare species
Miller Seed Vault Donates Seeds to Time Capsule

Rare Care Newsletters

  • Rare Plant Press, Vol XIII No. 2, Fall/Winter 2018
    • monitoring at the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge by Terri Knoke, finding personal meaning in citizen science programs, Cunningham honored with Brian Mulligan Award, annual rare plant monitoring weekend
  • Rare Plant Press, Vol XIII No. 1, Spring/Summer 2018
    • how plants are ranked, outstanding volunteer, and new staff at Rare Care and the Washington Natural Heritage Program
  • Rare Plant Press, Vol. XII No. 2, Fall/Winter 2017
    • connections with special places (Hanford Reach, Blue Mountains, Wenatchee Mountains) and special people (retiring Washington Natural Heritage Program Botanist Joe Arnett), reflections of two Rare Care interns, gratitude to donors, and monitoring highlights
  • Rare Plant Press, Vol. XII No. 1, Spring/Summer 2017
    • US Fish and Wildlife Service Senior Ecologist Ted Thomas retires, outstanding volunteer, and new seasonal staff, interns and monitoring events
  • Rare Plant Press, Vol. XI No. 2, Fall/Winter 2016
    • a federal botanist considers the worldwide scope of Rare Care Founder Sarah Reichard’s contributions to conservation biology in “A life of great intention” by Kathryn Kennedy, Ph. D., US Forest Service; a state botanist reflects on Dr. Reichard’s enduring influence on rare plant conservation in Washington in “A life of lasting impact” by John Gamon, Washington Natural Heritage Program; the UW Botanic Gardens honors a Rare Care volunteer; and Rare Care monitors burned lands
  • Rare Plant Press, Vol. XI No. 1, Spring/Summer 2016
    • “Reviewing and revising the Washington State Rare Plant List” by Joe Arnett, outstanding volunteers, and focus species
  • Rare Plant Press, Vol. X No. 2, Fall/Winter 2015
    • showy stickeseed research, gray cryptantha monitoring results, an unexpected pygmy saxifrage sighting, and a citizen stewardship award from the US Forest Service
  • Rare Plant Press, Vol. X No. 1, Spring/Summer 2015
    • monitoring gray cryptantha in shifting sand dune habitat, outstanding Miller Seed Vault volunteers, and DNR ecologist David Wilderman
  • Rare Plant Press, Vol. IX No. 2, Fall/Winter 2014
    • “New phlox species discovered in Blue Mountains,” efforts to protect Quinault fawn-lily, monitoring weekend focus on Wenatchee Mountain checker-mallow and Wenatchee larkspur, and multi-year monitoring of black lily, water lobelia, long-bearded sego lily, rosy owl-clover and Washington polemonium
  • Rare Plant Press, Vol. IX No. 1, Spring/Summer 2014
    • monitoring and out-planting Whited’s milk-vetch, and Rare Care volunteers
  • Rare Plant Press, Vol. VIII No. 2, Fall/Winter 2013
    • monitoring Hanford Reach’s rare plants in 100-degree temperatures, an unusual Blue Mountain Packera, a field researcher’s perspective on pale blue-eyed grass, and new populations of rare plants found by Rare Care monitors
  • Rare Plant Press, Vol. VIII No. 1, Spring/Summer 2013
    • focus species including water howellia, long-styled sedge, Chelan rockmat and Seely’s silene, plus outstanding volunteers
  • Rare Plant Press, Vol. VII No. 2, Fall/Winter 2012
    • group monitoring projects including rosy owl-clover, pale blue-eyed grass and Wenatchee Mountain checker-mallow, showy stickseed seed propagation and out-plantings, graduate student research, and a volunteer perspective on monitoring Spalding’s catchfly
  • Rare Plant Press, Vol. VII No. 1, Spring/Summer 2012
    • graduate student’s milk-vetch research, and an outstanding volunteer
  • Rare Plant Press, Vol. VI No. 2, Fall/Winter 2011
    • yellow sand verbena project, species added to seed vault collection, two dozen rare plant surveys completed during annual monitoring weekend, and plant biodiversity conference
  • Rare Plant Press, Vol. VI No. 1, Spring/Summer 2011
    • germination tests, and outstanding volunteers
  • Rare Plant Press, Vol. V No. 2, Fall/Winter 2010
    • hunting Washington’s only known least phacelia population, monitoring water howellia, conversation with WNHP botanist Joe Arnett about Wenatchee Mountain flora, and a volunteer’s battle with yellow archangel to save a rare trillium
  • Rare Plant Press, Vol. V No. 1, Spring/Summer 2010
    • houndstongue biocontrol agent, and outstanding volunteers
    • March 2010 US Department of Agriculture Pest Alert on Mogulones cruciger
  • Rare Plant Press, Vol. IV No. 2, Fall/Winter 2009
    • significant Brewer’s cinquefoil sighting, rare alpine seed from national park banked in Miller Seed Vault, retracing the steps of botanist Elroy Burnett
  • Rare Plant Press, Vol. IV No. 1, Spring/Summer 2009
    • record-breaking year for seed collections, a graduate student’s black lily research, and BLM botanist Pam Camp
  • Rare Plant Press, Vol. III No. 2, Fall/Winter 2008
    • Rare Care celebrates 10 years of rare plant conservation, monitoring weekend focuses on Wenatchee Mountain endemics, and third search reveals pink fawn-lily and giant golden chinquapin
  • Rare Plant Press, Vol. III No. 1, Spring/Summer 2008
    • basalt daisy and slender moonwort removed from federal candidate status, new species-focused monitoring strategy, and Rare Care presence grows statewide
  • Rare Plant Press, Vol. II No. 2, Fall/Winter 2007
    • Rare Care visits all known basalt daily populations in one weekend, ex situ conservation responds to global climate change, Rare Care participates in worldwide Seeds of Success project, and outstanding volunteers
  • Rare Plant Press, Vol. II No. 1, Spring/Summer 2007
    • new species accessioned into Miller Seed Vault, prioritizing seed collections, and sedge taxonomy
  • Rare Plant Press, Vol. I No. 2, Fall/Winter 2006
    • two vaguely documented historic rare plant populations relocated, plus cheatgrass and seedling establishment
  • Rare Plant Press, Vol. I No. 1, Spring/Summer 2006
    • five-year strategic plan, germination trials, commercial sale of rare native plants, Seeds of Success, and dedicated volunteers

Member Institution:
Center for Plant Conservation

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