Who We Are

Who We Are

Sound Native Plants offers unparalleled practical experience in ecosystem restoration and green stormwater infrastructure.

Sound Native Plants’ primary goal is to implement environmental restoration using a comprehensive approach to ensure project success. To advance our goal SNP provides consulting, installation, and maintenance services. SNP endeavors to share our experience with customers and other professionals by offering public workshops, professional continuing education, publications, and training on environmental restoration and mitigation. Nobody else can match the breadth and depth of our experience. We have been growing, installing, and maintaining native plants for over 30 years.

sound native plants-5 2

Founders

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.

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.
ben_0
  • 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.

chad

Chad Stemm

Chad joined SNP in 2002. He manages SNP South in the Portland/Vancouver region, and serves as our weed control specialist. Chad is a licensed Commercial Pesticide Applicator in Oregon and Washington. 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.

Apollo Stone

Apollo joined Sound Native Plants in January 2021 as the Olympia based crew leader. Apollo's experience includes:

  • Planting in wetland and riparian zones.
  • Planting in evergreen forests.
  • Installing bioengineering materials on steep slopes and marine bluffs for erosion control.
  • Upper elevation meadow restoration.
  • Maintaining and troubleshooting irrigation systems.
  • Manual and chemical invasive species control.
  • Expert sawyer.
  • Native plant propagation and care.

Apollo previously worked for Restoration Logistics llc out of Seattle, the Thurston Conservation District, The Washington Conservation Corps, and for Desert Survivors Native Plant Nursery in Arizona. Apollo is a licensed Commercial Pesticide Operator in Washington. Apollo has spent over a decade in the field and greatly looks forward to more. Email apollo@soundnativeplants.com 

20200505_200037
Samantha Elie Botanist headshot 3

Samantha Elie

Samantha is an ecological consultant and communications manager for Sound Native Plants. They joined the SNP team in 2020 as the nursery, sales, and communications manager. Samantha's experience includes:

  • Consulting to restore ecosystem health and promote ecosystem services.
  • Managing restoration and green stormwater infrastructure plantings, including designing planting plans and leading teams of professionals and volunteers.
  • Cultivating native plants of the Pacific Northwest for restoration and residential landscaping.
  • Writing for technical and public audiences.
  • Creating educational content for and maintenance of websites and social media.
  • Sharing presentations and workshops for restoration professionals and the public.
  • Researching disturbance ecology in the field and transforming data.

Samantha came to SNP from our good friends at the Native Plant Salvage Project. Samantha is passionate about publicly-assessable plant-based science, leading field courses on native plant identification and salvaging, running volunteer habitat restoration projects in the south Salish region, and publishing articles on their website www.SamanthaElie.com, Instagram, and Facebook @SamanthaElieBotanist. Samantha earned dual Bachelors degrees in montane ecology and economic botany at the Evergreen State College. Email samantha@soundnativeplants.com.

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. Brendan's 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.

Brendan Addis
susan

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.

Interested in Joining our Team?

If you are passionate about ecosystem restoration or green stormwater infrastructure in the Pacific Northwest consider a career with SNP! We post open positions on our social media and Indeed.com. Follow us and stay up to date as we grow our Olympia and Portland/Vancouver teams.