NSF Funds Seed Bank
National Science Foundation awards Society $50K grant
The Society has received a two-year, $50K grant from the National Science Foundation to upgrade its seed banking facilities at Nasami Farm. The grant provides support for salaries and equipment to cover the expansion of seed storage capacity of the Society's Seed Bank and carry out critical viability tests of the current collection. Equipment to be purchased includes a growth chamber, a chest freezer, seed cleaning equipment, a dissecting scope, and a walk-in refrigerated drying room.
Dr. Tristram Seidler, Seed Ecologist, will oversee the purchase and installation of equipment for this project, which will be housed in the new Native Plant Center under construction at Nasami Farm in Whately, MA.
The Seed Bank currently holds seeds from the National Collection of the Center for Plant Conservation as well as seeds from populations of rare and endangered plants selected for seed banking by the New England Plant Conservation Program (NEPCoP). The seeds in our collection are an important back-up in the event of catastrophe in the wild, and are used in restoration of rare native plant populations in New England. The impacts of climate change are expected to be especially hard on rare plant species, making this seed bank an even more significant conservation tool.