Seed Collection

Seed Seekers

Native plants create a healthy habitat for local wildlife and are the foundation of our ecosystems, our restoration efforts rely on a robust and diversified plant community.

To ensure that we have a distinct and vigorous inventory of plant and seed material for restoration projects the Catalina Island Conservancy established the Seed Collection & Conservation Program, housed at Ackerman Native Plant Nursery. Conservancy staff and volunteer Seed Seekers collect genetically distinct seeds from multiple wild plant populations across Catalina Island. The importance of locally sourced seed is multifaceted. Seeds collected from local plant populations are not only genetically distinct from their mainland and Channel Islands counterparts; but, also adapted to Catalina’s unique local conditions, making them more likely to thrive once they are reintroduced into the landscape. All nursery stock grown at Ackerman Native Plant Nursery is grown from site-appropriate seed, derived from as many maternal plants as possible, maximizing the genetic diversity we put back out on the landscape.

If you would like to volunteer with the Conservancy’s Seed Seekers Program, experience the interior, and visit the James H. Ackerman Native Plant Nursery we have a recurring schedule every Thursday from 8:00-11:30 am.

Conservancy staff will train prospective Seed Seekers on the various techniques needed for seed collection, processing, storing, and propagation. You’ll learn the different types of rare and unique island flora, seed collection methods, how seed is cleaned, accessioned (recorded in a database), stored, and how the seed is propagated. Incorporating traditional agricultural growing methodologies, nursery techniques, and modern laboratory-grown plant specimens allows the conservancy to cultivate the plant material needed to achieve our restoration work.

*Seed Seeker volunteers are required to commit a minimum of fifty hours over a one-year period.

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