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Back to Nature: Excel Plants Native Species

Posted on Categories Philanthropy

Located in Southern California, Excel Packaging is made up of a team of people who love to go outside and explore nature. We have the distinct pleasure of being located in an area with many large natural preserves that include great trails for camping, hiking, field trips and even daily jogging. The landscapes surrounding Excel Packaging boast over 40,000 native species of plants, insects and other wildlife.

Many of those landscapes are part of the large network of the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks, including the Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve. The Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve spans over 5,000 acres and is home to a striking geological formation called “The Sinks” which has been frequently compared to a mini Grand Canyon.



We were happy to be able to take some time together to volunteer at Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve’s Native Plant Nursery! All work at the Native Plant Nursery is community-driven, and the plants grown there help to enhance the native habitat within the Preserve. Our team helped in this great endeavor. We helped to seed the native plants in small pots.


Alex Bentson, Marketing Coordinator at Excel, was given the task of “berming” the newly planted shrubs so they could get as much water as possible and thrive in the area within which they will eventually be planted. She enjoyed taking part in this activity, commenting that “if the park guides hadn’t told us that all of the plants surrounding us were grown solely by volunteers, I would never have known all the hard work that the community has put into maintaining Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve. It was really cool to see and to be a part of the good work they are doing out there!”


alex alisha berming

Team members Alex Bentson and Alisha Santana enjoying a day of “gardening” in the sun!


The team also learned about the differences between native and invasive species and their relative impacts on the local ecosystem. Native species are those that naturally occur in a specific ecosystem. Non-native species are introduced by accident, through trade, by accident or for agricultural purposes. Some of those species do not disrupt the natural ecosystem and environment, while other species may be classified as invasive. Invasive species develop abundant, widespread populations that cause some disruption in the ecosystem which may lead to displacement or extinction of the native species, even going so far as to impact local economy or way of life. For a list of invasive species in Southern California, check out this page.


working together

Our team loves working together!


“Working at the Irvine Ranch Conservation was an educational and rewarding team building experience. Learning and understanding about the impact of invasive plant species in the Southern California area was great.” – Alec Barker-Aguilar, Sample Technician


After this rewarding volunteer event, the team left the Preserve happy & hungry! We’re looking forward to continuing to volunteer in local conservation efforts with the Irvine Ranch Conservancy and beyond. At Excel Packaging, we pride ourselves for being active members in our community,  whether helping residents in need or helping preserve our natural landscape. We believe that not only is it important to give back to the community, but that our team members get the added benefit of knowing and feeling that they’re part of something bigger than an office!


group pic

It was a really good day at work with the crew. Lunch time was especially rewarding.

To learn more about life at Excel Packaging and see more of our volunteer efforts, subscribe to our blog. Find out more about the Irvine Ranch Landmarks here!