Wild Onion Transplant & Restoration Community Event

Wild onions

Please join in for a community wild onion (leek) transplant and restoration event on October 14th, 2023, to foster discussion, community, and care for a very special species!

This is a two-part event. You can join Alison for both parts or just one! Whatever works for you:

  • 10: 30 a.m.: Wild onion planting at the Rand Tract. Meet at trailhead parking lot at Onondaga Valley Cemetery.
  • If you wish to be part of harvesting of wild onion bulbs from their site of origin earlier that morning, please contact Alison Stevens at (509) 936-2086 or astevens2@esf.edu for details. 

Snacks will be provided. Please bring water and BYOT (Bring Your Own Trowel)!

It goes without saying that wild leeks (wild onions) are a coveted delicacy of the Northeast, both for their delicate flavor and plethora of medicinal properties. They are so popular, in fact, that they are being harvested in numbers far beyond the capacity of populations to recover, and not just in this area. Their habitat has been fragmented and exploited in such a way that is stripping the wild leek  of their intrinsic worth, despite them being a hallmark of cuisine, culture, and relationship in the regions in which they grow.

In an effort to highlight and address their ecological sensitivity, ESF Graduate Student Alison Stevens is researching ways of addressing wild leek restoration that both encourages place-based relationship building and food sovereignty, while discouraging over-harvesting and disturbance. This work seeks to reclarify the role of the leek in both ecological and cultural contexts, as well as aligning restoration efforts to reflect the needs of both the plant itself, as well as those who respectfully engage with them.

Many areas where wild leeks grow on Onondaga lands desperately need rest and recovery. One such place is the Rand Tract north of the Onondaga Reservation.  In response to the overharvest that has occurred here over the years, we plan to collect leeks from a thriving population in need of gentle thinning, and transplant some of them to help Rand Tract leek populations recover. Following planting, we will work with the City of Syracuse installing permanent signs to educate community members about leeks, their life cycles, and the need for a cycle of rest at the Rand Tract.

Questions? Email astevens2@esf.edu


  • Saturday, October 14, 2023 | 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM


Meet at the Rand Tract trailhead in the Onondaga Valley Cemetery.

Onondaga Valley Cemetery (Rand Tract), 2500 Onondaga Valley Cemetery, Syracuse, NY, 13205, View Map

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