Great Parks’ Shaker Trace Nursery grows more than 8,000 native plants each year. These plants produce from 200 to 500 pounds of seeds for wetlands and prairies every year. Shaker Trace Nursery was created to produce seeds for local habitat restoration. For this reason, seeds cultivated and harvested at the nursery originated within 100 miles of Hamilton County.

What happens to 200-500 pounds of seeds every year? Most are used in restoration projects throughout the park system, including the wetland at Miami Whitewater Forest and prairies at Miami Whitewater Forest, Glenwood Gardens, and Otto Armleder Memorial Park. Great Parks also supplies seeds for restoration projects by other local agencies.

Thanks to the efforts of many volunteers and staff members, Shaker Trace Nursery is the beginning of many conservation wins. One such success story is the resurgence of the monarch butterfly population. Monarch butterflies depend on milkweed for habitat and food but many factors converged to wipe out much of this vital plant. Shaker Trace Nursery began cultivating milkweed seeds for restoration projects across the park system. After many years of small increases in the monarch butterfly population, last year Great Parks reported a significant increase following annual counts of the butterflies on their migration between Canada and Mexico.

Learn more about Shaker Tracey Nursery, including volunteer opportunities, visit