Native Seed Partnership

The overarching goal of a native seed partnership is to grow a reliable source of genetically diverse, local ecotype seeds to meet the needs of local conservation projects.

Who can be involved...

A successful partnership includes seed collectors, growers at multiple stages and end users. Are you interested in joining? Please contact Kim Lessman, Seedbank Manager of the Holden Seed Bank at Holden Forests & Gardens.

Why is local ecotype seed important...

Research shows that restoration projects are more likely to have long-term success when genetically appropriate seeds and native plant material are used. To create resilient ecosystems, seeds must be collected and produced in a way that preserves the genetic diversity of wild populations. Their origin must be well-documented to allow land managers to make informed decisions about sourcing seed that is suitable for their planting site.

Limited generation system

G(0) – Wild collected
G(1) – Seeds harvested in the first year, those available to growers
G(2) – Seeds harvested in second year, those available for distribution for conservation projects

The native seed supply chain as presented in The International Network for Seed-based Restoration’s Standards for Native Seeds in Ecological Restoration--Pedrini et al. 2020

Next steps...

We are at the very beginning stages of creating our seed network. Currently, we plan to collaborate with the region's conservation organizations and agencies to determine the top species and quantities needed for projects--this will guide our wild seed collections. We also intend to offer trainings so we follow a uniform seed collection protocol, such as Seeds of Success.


  • Local Ecotype: Plants that have adapted to a specific geographic environment thus evolving to be genetically distinct from other plants of the same species found in different environments.
  • Genetic diversity: Biological variation that occurs within a species, allowing the species to adapt to environmental changes.
  • Native plant materials: Native plants and their propagules, such as seeds, spores, and cuttings.

Key Resources

Lastly, we encourage you to watch Native Seeds, Supplying Restoration