Sagebrush in Prisons Project is a collaboration between four entities; Bureau of Land Management, (BLM), Sustainability in Prisons Project (SPP), Washington Department of Corrections (WDOC) and Institute for Applied Ecology (IAE). Gretchen works for IAE as a contract sagebrush grower, slash educator. Under Ms. Graber’s guidance, inmates grow thousands of sagebrush seedlings that are planted onto BLM managed lands that have active populations of Greater Sage Grouse. The presentation will share how the collaboration works, its unique aspects of combining environmental education, empowering incarcerated individuals and restoration of shrub-steppe habitat for the recovery of Greater Sage Grouse species.
Gretchen Graber's botanical studies have been viewed via the lenses of environmental science, restoration, conservation and education. For the past twenty-five years, she has worked in sustainable horticultural, agroecology and plant ecology fields'. Gretchen received her B.S. in Environmental Science from University of Oregon. She has also evaluated native bunch grasses establishment as a cover crop in wine grape vineyards in the WSU Masters of Environmental Science program. Gretchen has managed large landscape design and installations projects, designed pollinator habitat as well as forest and shrub-steppe restoration projects. For the past three years she has taught incarcerated individuals how to grow sagebrush for the recovery of Greater Sage Grouse.
Gretchen Graber received the Tapteal Greenway Conservationist of the Year Award this past year for many activities including her work with the WSU-TC Native Plant and Pollinator Garden as well as her work with incarcerated individuals and sagebrush.