Prairie and Native Plant Careers

Sue Leahy

Native Plants Manager
Greenscape Gardens
Manchester, MO

Where did you study and what was your major field of study?
Webster University B.A. in Management/Marketing

Briefly describe your current job.
Track native inventory, order plants, assist customers with plant selection and answer questions about natives, watering and plant care, arranging plant displays

How do you use your native plant and/or prairie knowledge in your career today?
Every day in speaking with customers and deciding what plants to order

What is the most satisfying aspect of your current work?
Helping customers, especially those new to natives

What native plant/prairie classes or trainings were especially important to your career?
I have taken many classes and gotten something useful out of almost all of them.

What other subjects have you studies that have been important to your career?
My marketing degree has been useful.

Please describe volunteer or field work that was formative to your education and career.
As Outreach Coordinator for Wild Ones St. Louis, I am in contact with lots of other folks who appreciate native plants. Not only do I learn from them, but I speak to various groups on native plant topics and have learned how to field questions from those new to the world of natives.

What materials and technology are must-haves for your field?
I have quite a collection of books that I find very useful. A computer is essential, not only to keep information on plants, but also for webinars or to look up things on websites.

What advice would you give students or others wanting to go into your field?
Join various native plant organizations and learn as much as you can.