ArcheWild is Changing the Game in the Ecological Restoration Industry
By offering all aspects of restoration work—from consulting, to project management, construction, and nursery operations—ArcheWild controls the quality of every step in the restoration project: from seed to site.
January 2020, Pennsylvania
If you want to embark on a large or complex restoration project, you have to collaborate with several different vendors to get the outcome you want. Juggling engineers and nurseries is challenging and expensive, but that’s just the way it is, right? Not necessarily.
ArcheWild is a full-service Ecological Restoration company that does it all. By bringing together the right consultants, designers, engineers, contractors, and an ecoregion-specific nursery under one roof, they can guarantee better results at a price no one else can match.
Mark Brownlee, Founder and Principal of ArcheWild, comments on this trend of segmenting services while at a stream restoration site in West Virginia:
Typically, if you want to do this [shovel in-hand, gesturing widely at the 2-mile stretch of floodplain being restored], you’d have to call a consultant to survey the site and recommend plans and plants, then get an engineer and contracting company to clear the site, work with a nursery to get the plants you need—or maybe 4 or 5 different nurseries because not all of them carry the right species—and then get landscapers to come out and plant everything. And even then, you can only expect about a 10% survival rate for those plants. We usually achieve about an 80% survival rate because we’re able to control everything. And it’s nice for the customer because we’re doing all the juggling, not them. It’s more risk for us, but that’s only a problem if you mess up, and we try not to do that.
ArcheWild started in 2010 as a nursery focused on Piedmont and Ridge and Valley-originated native plants with the goal of bolstering genetic fitness and improving outcomes of restoration projects in the region. It turned out that restoration customers who were buying those plants also wanted help with design, plant selection, methodology, planting, and invasive control. So in the last ten years, ArcheWild added all of these capabilities and now offers full-spectrum restoration services to their commercial and residential customers, “from seed to site.”
There are two major, interdependent departments that drive the company: the Nursery Team, and the Projects Team. The Nursery team is made up of experienced growers who are responsible for sourcing, collecting, conditioning, and planting native seeds, and then taking care of the plant all the way until it leaves the nursery and is handed off to the Projects Team. The Projects team, made up of highly trained Ecological Restorationists, do the work of communicating directly with customers to understand their specific needs, and then doing the clearing, planting, maintenance, and everything in between.
It’s the combination of these efforts that makes us so different. Not only are you getting the work done right by people who understand your project and your site needs, but you’re getting the plants directly from us that are grown from ethically sourced seeds by people who care about the genetics and longevity of the product. And we don’t try to sell you things you don’t need. In fact, we’re the ones who will tell you when something’s not right for your project. There’s no use in doing something that isn’t totally beneficial to the environment or the customer.
Quality control is the company’s primary objective, and Brownlee says that handling every step of every project is what allows them to achieve such positive results. In a time when environmentalism isn’t just a trend but a call to action, companies on the front lines prioritizing native plants and ethical land management for their customers are the ones making a difference.
ArcheWild (archewild.com) is an Ecological Restoration company based in Pennsylvania, serving large landowners and state/federal agencies from Boston, to Cleveland, to D.C., and all of West Virginia. Their company is made up of several groups, including the Nursery Team, Projects Team, Logistics, and Professional Services. ArcheWild is also the parent company of WildLawn (wildlawn.com), an ecological restoration company for the homeowner, so everyone can restore their piece of the planet.
Alex Morrison is ArcheWild’s Senior Associate for Business and Marketing, and can be reached at 855-752-6862, or at email@example.com