Sound Native Plants was founded in 1992 by Ben Alexander and Susan Buis. Ben Alexander continues to manage the business. Susan moved on to new endeavors in 2003, but she remains a co-owner, business adviser, and occasional collaborator.  SNP employees share work experience in complementary fields such as: restoration in national parks wilderness, ecological fieldwork and analysis, environmental education and outreach, environmental permitting, and watershed planning. Click here for a brochure about our company services and experience.

Ben Alexander

Ben Alexander

Ben is co-owner of Sound Native Plants. He oversees SNP installation and maintenance programs, and provides professional consulting on project planning, design and permitting. Ben’s experience includes:

  • Creating and implementing plans for steep slope stabilization, including reconstruction of banks using live cribwalls, vegetated geogrids, willow fascines, geotextiles, and native plantings.
  • Designing and installing restoration projects for streams, marine bluffs, wetlands and wetland buffers, and lakeshores in western Washington.
  • Compiling and evaluating weed control techniques for invasive species commonly found on restoration sites in western Washington.
  • Designing and installing low-flow irrigation systems for restoration sites.
  • Serving as Environmental Planner for Thurston County Stormwater Program for five years; primary author of comprehensive drainage basin plans.
  • Supervising the activities of the Thurston County Stream Team.
  • Developing and managing wilderness restoration projects for Olympic and Yosemite National Parks.

Ben holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Planning from the Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA, and is qualified to conduct the Riparian Function and Fish Habitat modules for Washington Department of Natural Resources Watershed Analyses.

Ben has several publications to his credit, including: McAllister/Eaton Creek Comprehensive Drainage Basin Plan, Thurston County, WA, 1994; “Restoring Yosemite’s Wildlands” in the Bulletin of the Yosemite Association, CA, 1989; contributing author, Oaks of California, ed. John Evarts, Cachuma Press, CA, 1992; Photographic Documentation: Soleduck Revegetation Project, USDI National Park Service, Denver, CO, 1991. Email ben@soundnativeplants.com.

Susan Buis

Susan is co-founder of Sound Native Plants and is a recognized authority on propagating northwest native plants. Currently, Susan works on environmental protection issues for Washington State. She continues to consult and give workshops for Sound Native Plants on occasion.

Susan was a founding contributing editor of the Native Plants Journal and speaks widely on the subjects of writing specifications for native plants for restoration and mitigation projects, native plant propagation and other topics. She has taught classes and workshops for the University of Washington, Society of Wetland Scientists, the Society for Ecological Restoration, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Washington State Departments of Ecology and Transportation, the Washington Native Plant Society, and numerous local community projects and groups. Susan’s professional experience also includes:

  • Designing and installing wetland mitigation projects in the Puget Sound area.
  • Creating and implementing plans for restoration of stream banks, marine bluffs, and lake shores in western Washington.
  • Producing a model native plant nursery propagation and management program for the City of Kent.
  • Authoring a National Park Service guide to propagating and using common native plants for restoration purposes in western Washington.
  • Developing and managing wilderness restoration projects, including nursery operations, for Olympic and Yosemite National Parks.

Susan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Studies from the Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA, and has pursued continuing education in horticulture.

Samantha Elie

Samantha Elie

Samantha came to SNP from our good friends at the Native Plant Salvage Project, where she worked for two years, managing their native plant nursery, sales, and public engagement. Samantha has led field courses on winter twig ID and native plant ID, and helped supervise volunteer habitat restoration projects and plant salvage projects in the south Salish region.

Samantha earned dual Bachelors degrees in montane ecology and economic botany at the Evergreen State College. She avidly explores the natural world and aims to share the joy she that finds in plants with everyone.

Samantha is eager to continue her work of “rewilding” the South Salish region by supplying private land owners and restoration agencies with hardy and enchanting PNW native plants.  Email samantha@soundnativeplants.com.

Benjamin Amidon

Ben joined Sound Native Plants in 2019 as the Olympia-based installation crew leader.  He worked previously for the Olympia School District, and prior to that he worked for Thurston Conservation District and the Washington Conservation Corps. His experience includes:

  • Planting wetland and riparian areas.
  • Installing bioengineering materials on steep slopes and marine bluffs
  • Maintaining and troubleshooting irrigation systems.
  • Manual and chemical invasive species control

Benjamin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Studies from the Evergreen State College. He is an EcoPRO-certified Sustainable Landscape Professional, and he is a licensed Commercial Pesticide Operator.  Email amidon@soundnativeplants.com.

Chad Stemm

Chad Stemm

Chad joined SNP in 2002 and has been the crew leader for our Vancouver, WA – based installation crew since 2003. Chad ‘s experience includes:

  • Developing invasive plant management and native habitat restoration programs for an organic farm and wildlife refuge on Snoqualmie River.
  • Creating and maintaining a native plant nursery to supply restoration projects.
  • Owning and managing a gardening and landscaping business in Seattle.
  • Installing and maintaining a wide variety of restoration plantings.
  • Growing and selling retail plants in Seattle.

Chad has completed science and music coursework through Pacific Lutheran University. He manages the installation and maintenance of restoration and mitigation projects in the greater Portland/Vancouver region for Sound Native Plants. Since 2009, Chad has also run his own organic Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm in Vancouver. Email chad@soundnativeplants.com.

Brendan Addis

Brendan Addis

Brendan has been a member of SNP’s Portland-Vancouver team since December 2012 and Assistant Regional Manager since 2013. He oversees the coordination of SNP’s contracts in the Portland/Vancouver area, involving teams working in stormwater mitigation, invasive plant management, native plant installations, and habitat restoration. Brendan brings a diverse background and range of interests. Experience includes:

  • Commissioner for Clark County Clean Water Council
  • Watershed Monitoring and Water Resources Education contractor for the City of Vancouver
  • Investment Management Account Coordinator
  • Forestry Technician Gifford Pinchot Forest Service and Wildland Fire Fighting
  • Founding board member for the Vancouver Watershed Alliance and neighborhood association lead for the Washougal River area.
  • Portland State University Graduate. History & International Studies. Policy and Government

Brendan spends his time “away from work” overseeing the care of his gardens, orchard, animals, and creek side habitat of his family farm in Washougal. Email brendan@soundnativeplants.com.