Vincent Distrola

Nursery Technician

As Nursery Technician, I work closely with the Nursery Manager and the rest of the Students and Teachers Restoring A Watershed (STRAW) program to grow and care for the native plants we use in habitat restorations at three nursery locations: Casa Grande High School in Petaluma, the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge off Hwy 37, and the Novato Baylands.

I was born and grew up in the sweltering heat in Southern California’s Inland Empire. Because summers were hot and dry, I spent most of my youth inside with the narrative that the outdoors was a harsh, unfriendly place. Moving to San Francisco in 2014, I quickly realized how much I loved being outside and the deep impact nature had on me.

I left corporate work to pursue nature-oriented work centered around community building in late 2019. In 2021, I went back to school at San Francisco State University and completed my Bachelor’s of Science in Recreation and Leisure Studies. I have interned with Friends of the Urban Forest, Literacy for Environmental Justice, and the greenhouses at SFSU. I was a nursery technician apprentice at Sutro Stewards in San Francisco, helping grow California native plants for the 60 acres of preserved space known as Mount Sutro.

I feel strongly that green spaces need to be protected and conserved but they also need to feel equitable and accessible to the communities they serve. I believe that nature is a space that everyone is welcome in and enjoy listening to the lived experiences of others and their relationship to the outdoors. I am passionate about growing native plants, and interested in developing long-lasting relationships with wild seed stock.

I am always happy to go look at ferns and enjoy a cup of tea with others.