Conservation Research - Red Butte Garden
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Conservation Fieldwork 1

What kind of work do we do?

In-situ conservation is work that is done on site, in the area where the plant naturally grows. We collect plant samples and seeds to study later, monitor populations, transplant endangered species out of harm’s way, and re-vegetate with seeds or seedlings in their native habitats.

Ex-situ conservation is work that is done off site, at our garden facility or other facilities around the West. This work involves storing seeds in seed banks to preserve the genetic material, testing seed germination and viability to better understand how to propagate a species, and caring for living specimens that have been propagated or salvaged from project sites.

What is biodiversity?

Biodiversity is the number of different species of plants and animals found within a particular region, or ecosystem. The more diverse an ecosystem, meaning the more plants, animals, insects, and bacteria living within it, the healthier it is. A diverse ecosystem has more resources to draw on that allow it to bounce back from disturbances, adapt to long-term changes, and support the communities within it, wild or cultivated.

Why does it matter?

While biodiversity is critical for the sake of the environment in and of itself, there are a number of reasons biodiversity should matter to our species. To focus just on plant diversity: plants provide us with key ingredients and products that feed us, shelter us, keep us healthy, and fuel our economy. To destroy a species, actively or unknowingly, is to destroy its potential for tomorrow and for generations to come. Read "Why Diversity Matters" from NatureServe.

What are our goals?

We are stewards of the at-risk plants in our region, and protecting them is a key component of Red Butte Garden’s mission. We hope to mitigate threats and preserve genetic information so that rare populations may recover in their native habitats, thereby conserving the diversity of our native flora.

Conservation Fieldwork 2



Your time and experience are valuable to us. Whether you’re a novice naturalist or a committed conservationist, we can use your help! If you’re interested in volunteering in Conservation or anywhere else at Red Butte Garden, contact a Volunteer Coordinator, or check out the Volunteer Opportunities page.

Phone: 801-585-5688

Volunteers help with a wide variety of projects, many of which are seasonal. They include plant surveying and seed collection; cleaning, sorting, and banking seeds; rare plant curation and propagation; and general greenhouse and office help. Training in the field is provided. Volunteers must be 18 years or older.

Plant Natives, Pull Invasives:

Your land, however small, can be an important piece of habitat for native plants, pollinators, and other wildlife. As our cities expand outward, eating up true native habitats, these oases become critical to support native populations.

What to Plant:

What to Pull:

Utah’s Noxious Weed List from the Utah Weed Control Association


We can’t do it without your support. Making a donation to the Garden supports our efforts to protect and restore threatened plant communities throughout Utah.