Native revegetation planting at Community Recycle Center 

Volunteer Diane Ackerman helped create a garden of rescued native plants at the Community Recycling Center.

The Community Recycling Center, 1000 Sand Flats Rd., now has around 60 new native plants on what was once a barren hillside. The native plants were rescued from a site in Spanish Valley by volunteers with the Utah Native Plant Society and Moab Solutions.

Sara Melnicoff, the executive director of local nonprofit Moab Solutions, said a driver had crashed through the fencing at the recycling center, necessitating the replacement of the fence. The hillside below was stripped down to bare soil in the process. 

Melnicoff said she knew of an area in Spanish Valley that was full of native grasses and was scheduled to be bulldozed due to new construction. She coordinated with Utah Native Plant Society (UNPS) members to rescue some of the plants and transplant them to the hillside at the recycling center.  

UNPS member Diane Ackerman went to the site and collected around 60 plants.  “My hope is the project will educate folks of the value of salvaging native plants and utilizing them in our landscapes,” Ackerman said. “Many folks, even Utah Native Plant Society members, are not familiar with this fun experience.”

The Solid Waste Special Service District, which runs the recycling center, provided wood chips for the landscape from its wood chip operation. Moab Solutions also provided native seeds.

Ackerman said she is happy that there will be green growth in an area “where once there was nothing.”