Kew's Millennium Seed Bank partnership – USA
Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank partnership is working with botanical organisations across the USA, coordinated by the Bureau of Land Management within the ‘Seeds of Success’ programme
Seeds of Success training course in Tucson, Arizona, Aug 2002 (Image: Olivia Kwong, BLM)
Through the New York City Parks Department’s historic partnership with Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Kew's Millennium Seed Bank partnership, we have collected the seeds of 75 important and declining local plant species from the greater New York City area for safe storage and as a hedge against their possible loss from nature.Adrian Benepe, New York City Parks Commissioner
Habitats are under threat in the USA
As well as long-term plant conservation, Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank partnership is actively involved in re-introduction and restoration programmes worldwide. The USA is just one of the countries benefiting from this type of conservation.
Habitats such as central tall grass prairie are being threatened by changes in land use, invasive species, and climate. Our project in the USA is conserving seeds for the future and is also involved in providing seed for restoration of damaged habitats.
Saving seeds for the future in the USA
Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank is working in partnership with botanical organisations across the USA within the ‘Seeds of Success’ programme, which is coordinated by the Bureau of Land Management on behalf of the Plant Conservation Alliance. Five not-for-profit organisations are formal partners with Kew in this programme and each has an interest in helping to protect and restore plant diversity in their particular regions.
Seeds of Success has collected over 2,900 native species for banking in US and for duplicate storage at Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank, located at Wakehurst Place, West Sussex. Scientists have identified priorities for seed collecting which include characteristic and widespread plant species whose habitats are threatened by fragmentation, management changes, invasive species or climate change.
We work alongside the Center for Plant Conservation whose participating institutions collect seed and carry out research on US plant species that are currently endangered. In combination, we aim to ensure that ex-situ conservation provides an effective safety net for US native plants whilst local collaborators work to restore and enhance plant communities.
In addition, further population seed samples have been collected from priority plant species wholly for restoration purposes. These collections are handled by Bend Seed Extractory in Oregon.
Each Millennium Seed Bank partner collects seed from priority plant species in their region. For example, Chicago Botanic Garden are storing seed from plants native to the central tallgrass prairie, and are carrying out research into the biology of plant species prioritised for habitat restoration.
Through these lead partners the Seeds of Success program involves a wide range of collaborators who have generously shared information, have provided access to land, or who have agreed to undertake seed collecting and/or seed cleaning for the program.
We are grateful to the many volunteers that assist with the Seeds of Success program and also to funders that have enabled the work to expand to the current level.
Discover more about our work in Central and North America...
Our team in the USA
- Michael Way, Inernational Co-ordinator (Americas)
Our partners in the USA
- Bureau of Land Management
- Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, University of Texas
- Zoological Society of San Diego
- Chicago Botanic Garden
- North Carolina Botanic Garden
- New England Wildflower Society
- New York City Department of Parks & Recreation
- Brooklyn Botanic Garden
With special thanks
Philecology Trust | National Fish and Wildlife Foundation | BP Amoco | PLCWilliam
C Bannerman Foundation | Henry Luce Foundation | Houston Endowment | Syngenta PLC
Mount Cuba Center, Inc.
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