The Mid Atlantic Regional Seed Bank: A Case Study in Actualizing the National Seed Strategy

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Edward Toth

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The Mid Atlantic Regional Seed Bank (MARSB) is a program of the NYC Greenbelt Native Plant Center (GNPC) the nation’s oldest and largest municipal native plant nursery. It has been a production nursery since 1994 and a bulk seed producer since 2006. It has operated as an Active Seed Bank for short- to mid-term storage since 2006 and has been a partner of Seeds of Success since 2008. In 2012 it created MARSB to fully participate within SOS as a regional seed banking partner. Many of these programs and other activities of MARSB closely align and further the objectives of the National Seed Strategy (NSS) and demonstrate how a partner can serve as a regional seed banking hub to facilitate cooperative native plant material (NPM) development and related goals. Since its inception MARSB has partnered with federal, state, tribal, local and nonprofit groups across the midAtlantic states on regional seed collection and banking efforts. It has participated in a 3-year coastal seed collection program, collected ash, viburnum, orchid, and hemlock seed for research and conservation, has held numerous seed collection workshops for participating regional partners and to develop a cadre of volunteer seed collectors. In 2017 it conducted a comprehensive survey of NPM users east of the Mississippi. In 2021 it will begin systematic ecoregional seed collection of 18 keystone species across NY State for NPM development by state agencies and others. I will discuss the development efforts that formed MARSB, what has worked and what its future goals are.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program