During the first two years, the nursery will be co-managed by two MEH graduate students. In addition to their nursery management duties, the phase I managers will be responsible for the recruitment of future co-managers for phase II. Finding replacements should not be difficult since the infrastructure will be in place for a fully functioning native plant nursery, it ties directly to the MEH program, and there will be funding for labor- a rarity in the MEH program. During phase I, Kelly and Anna will also initiate the discussion to find permanent funding for a full time staff person to manage the nursery for phase III. Because of the broad applicability of the native plant nursery there are many potential departments who could partially fund a position through cost-sharing modeled after the UW Farm manager position, which is funded by Campus Housing, Health Services, and the College of the Environment. Potential partners the SER-UW nursery are campus grounds, the planning office, College of the Environment, UWBG, College of the Built Environment, and the Biology department. Funding through the Services and Activities Fee will also be investigated. The co-managers for phase II will be responsible for following through with securing funding for the full-time nursery manager position based upon the recommendations of the phase I managers. In phase III, the nursery will transition into a recharge unit or self-sustaining unit depending on the makeup of the clientele, i.e. mostly on-campus versus off-campus clients. Wendy Star, SEFS administrator, will help us develop a business plan that allows us to best achieve our goals of functioning as a not-for-profit entity, where the nursery is able to support as many if its own expenses as possible.
Potential Funding Reductions:
A 5% reduction ($3,878) in funds would prompt us to reduce the summer hours proposed for phase II from 20 to 10 hours per week and save $3,225. This would reduce the amount of time allocated to seed collection. It would also impede the manager’s ability to respond to heat waves and times of high water demand adequately, and therefore increase the risk of plant mortality. We would also switch the framing materials for the low plant production tables from cedar to fir, saving $512. Cedar is extremely rot resistant and the best choice for a moist hoophouse environment. Other less expensive woods wood rot quickly and would not be sustainable in the long run but be effective for a short amount of time. To accommodate a 10% reduction in funds ($7,756) we would eliminate the plant production tables altogether saving an additional $1000. Without plant production tables, plants are more susceptible to waterborne disease and do not receive any of the air pruning benefits of having the plants off the ground. Switching materials for the endwalls from rigid polycarbonate and cedar for the framing to polyfilm for covering and pressure treated wood for framing would reduce the price of the hoophouse materials by $3000. Sacrifices in quality of plant production and educational experiences would be made with a 20% reduction ($15,512) in funds. To execute this cut we would reduce weekly manager hours from 15 to 12 hours per week, saving $9,290, but would this could be a tradeoff to allow us to retain the plant production tables and build them with cedar framing and legs. For phase I this reduction in hours, would slow down the construction of plant production infrastructure. Furthermore, in both phases, the quality of educational opportunities and quality of record keeping for plant protocols would be significantly reduced.