The Oregon Garden Foundation, with help from a grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, established a Sustainable Plant Research and Outreach Center (SPROut). SPROut is a partnership between the Oregon Garden Foundation, the Institute for Natural Resources, Oregon State University, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and a number of other public and private institutions.
The core mission of SPROut was to develop the use of plants and plant material for environmental sustainability purposes through the development of new techniques, plants, and propagation methods. SPROut sponsored onsite research in this emerging field, engaged in partnerships with practitioners and researchers, and provided matching funds for onsite research and demonstration. SPROut provided outreach on research results, and worked to integrate research efforts into public policy and business development.
SPROut’s larger purpose was to make Oregon an international center for the research and development of plants for environmental purposes, creating linkages between researchers and practitioners and creating new business opportunities. By advancing knowledge and encouraging new investment in this developing technology, SPROut played a critical role both in Oregon’s economy and in protecting the environment.