SPAWN volunteer Guy Thomas builds new benches for one of our shade houses in the nursery.

Volunteers are an integral part of the work we do here at Turtle Island Restoration Network. In California, Guy Thomas is a volunteer of our California-based program, the Salmon Protection And Watershed Network, or SPAWN, that protects endangered coho salmon and the forests and watersheds they need to survive in West Marin County, California.

A dedicated SPAWN volunteer, Guy Thomas has lived most of his life in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is passionate about conservation and ecological restoration. Guy is also an extremely skillful carpenter and as soon as he learned that SPAWN needed new benches for one of our shade houses in the nursery, he got right to work. Within one week he built six new benches! These new benches help us meet the current guidelines for best management practices to help prevent pathogens in our nursery. We appreciate Guy’s dedication to the nursery and his broad commitment to conservation and habitat restoration. Please read below to learn more about Guy Thomas!

Please tell us a bit about yourself!

I’ve always enjoyed the outdoors. I am working on a restoration project of my own and that is why I came to SPAWN. I wanted to find an organization that was knowledgeable about restoration so that I could learn better how to do my own restoration projects and at the same time could help with other projects. 

How long have you been volunteering with SPAWN and how did you find us?

Last fall I was looking for redwood seedlings at a native plant nursery in Pt. Reyes and I didn’t see any there. However, another shopper said that I could find redwoods at SPAWN Nursery and told me about the 10,000 Redwoods project. That’s how I ended up dropping in to SPAWN Nursery – I was looking for redwood trees to plant on my property and I found them at SPAWN. I’ve stayed in touch with the organization since then and recently began volunteering.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering?

I really enjoy the interaction with the people. All of the volunteers and staff are environmentally conscious, upbeat, and interesting people. 

What have you learned through volunteering?

I’ve learned a lot about native plants and how to care for seedlings, appropriate transplanting, techniques for propagation, and much more. I’m very interested in doing what I can to help the native bees, butterflies, and other wildlife. 

What would you say to someone who’s considering volunteering with us?

At least come out and give it a try. I think you’ll like it, and it’s a worthy cause. The planet needs our help. 

Our volunteers are an essential part of the organization and we wouldn’t be able to complete the work we do without them! If you or anyone you know is interested in volunteering, please contact us at for current opportunities.