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From Seeds to Streams- AsRA Launches Ausable Conservation Nursery

A view of the Uihlein Foundation’s greenhouse and future site of the ACN high tunnel.

The Ausable River Association is excited to announce the launch of its newest program, the Ausable Conservation Nursery. Located on land owned by the Henry Uihlein II and Mildred A. Uihlein Foundation Trust (Uihlein Foundation) of Lake Placid, the Ausable Conservation Nursery (ACN) will prioritize growing hyperlocal, elevation-hardy, woody plants to strengthen the native plant supply locally available for riparian restoration. Thanks to funding from the Lake Champlain Basin Program, NEIWPCC, and private funders, ACN will install nursery infrastructure onsite, identify local seed and cutting collection sources, propagate and harvest bare root shrubs and trees, and distribute bare root stock for restoration projects in the region. The long-term goals of the nursery are to increase the availability of native plants, enhance riparian habitat and ecosystems, and expand flood and climate resilience for local communities. We look forward to engaging with the community at the nursery and offsite on planting projects.

Meet the Ausable Conservation Nursery team 

Kiana collecting silky dogwood hardwood cuttings to be used for propagation in 2024.

Kiana French (nursery curator) joins AsRA with a robust background in sustainable agriculture and native tree and shrub propagation. Her interest in riparian restoration has recently brought her back to the Adirondacks to launch the Ausable Conservation Nursery. Kiana is excited to be a part of the AsRA team and to get her hands dirty growing hyperlocal native plants in the Adirondacks.


Tully collecting hardwood cuttings at a site in Keene.

Tully Miller (nursery technician) came on board with AsRA this season, bringing extensive experience in both environmental restoration and agriculture. Tully is thrilled to explore the intersection between agriculture and environmental restoration in his role at the Ausable Conservation Nursery. 

Propagation and production at the nursery 

Chokecherry seedlings emerging from seeds propagated in 2022 at Intervale Conservation Nursery.

Ausable Conservation Nursery will focus early propagation efforts on a handful of key riparian species, including red-osier dogwood, silky dogwood, shrub willow, and red maple. As the nursery increases bare root production, our propagation efforts will broaden to include other species of interest, such as paper birch, gray birch, yellow birch, speckled alder, balsam poplar, quaking aspen, American elm, and chokecherry. Our native trees and shrubs will be propagated from wild-collected seeds and hardwood cuttings sourced from a variety of local habitats and started in the existing greenhouse on the Uihlein Foundation property. From the greenhouse, the shrubs and trees will be planted in the production field for one or two years, and then harvested as bare root trees and shrubs to be used for restoration projects throughout the region. AsRA will work with local landowners, organizations, and interested volunteers to facilitate seed collection, tree and shrub propagation, and restoration planting efforts. 


 Silky dogwood tube stock propagated from a hardwood cutting ready for transplant in 2022.


Support our Ausable Conservation Nursery project to enhance native tree and shrub riparian restoration. Give with confidence today!


Growing native trees and shrubs for riparian restoration 

AsRA staff hosting a tree planting event in the Ausable watershed in 2021.

Eventually, the trees and shrubs grown at ACN will be planted along regional streams and at river riparian restoration zones. AsRA works on restoration projects to rebuild stream health and habitats, reduce flooding impacts, and increase community resiliency in the face of climate change. Replanting and establishing native vegetation at these restoration sites is a crucial step in the restoration process. Hyperlocal plant stock is better able to adapt to local sites and will increase the viability of the trees and shrubs planted in restoration areas. To survive extreme Adirondack winters and habitats that are frequently disturbed, the plant stock produced at ACN will be adapted to survive various environmental conditions at these planting sites. 

How to get involved

Silver maple seedlings propated in 2022 at Intervale Conservation Nursery.

Interested in volunteering with the Ausable Conservation Nursery this year? We look forward to providing a variety of opportunities for volunteers to help procure seeds, prepare fields for planting, propagate trees and shrubs, and maintain AsRA’s ongoing restoration planting efforts. 

Sign up for AsRA’s e-newsletter to stay up to date with volunteer opportunities this season. Please reach out to Kiana at with any questions or more information.

 Red maple seedlings growing in an open flat in 2022 .

  Story written by Kiana French, Ausable Conservation Nursery Curator. 

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