The Salish Seeds ProjectSalish seed project

Currently underway in Friday Harbor, the Salish Seeds Project will produce plants and seeds of native island wildflowers and grasses for local restoration projects.

“Many of our local wildflowers are in decline. Learning how to raise them from seed to flowering makes us hopeful and proud,” said Land Bank steward Eliza Habegger. “Most of the plant species selected for the project are impossible to find commercially.”

Chocolate_Lily_r2v2“Both the Land Bank and the San Juan Preservation Trust share similar visions for restoration. By sharing facilities and resources, we can maximize the effectiveness our efforts to restore our beautiful Garry oak and prairie habitats,” said Preservation Trust stewardship manager Kathleen Foley. The Salish Seeds Project will further both organizations’ efforts to care for and recover vanishing Garry oak savannah and prairie habitats for future generations.

Initially, plants and seeds produced through the project will be used at restoration sites on Land Bank and Preservation Trust preserves, but the partners hope the project will make plants or seeds available for other conservation areas and to private landowners eventually.

Established in September 2013 at the Land Bank’s office in Friday Harbor, a wildflower nursery is now producing small plants, or plugs, of native perennials, bulbs, Garry oaks, and an assortment of other local plants. Last June, the San Juan Preservation Trust’s Red Mill Farm in San Juan Valley became home to a new, larger nursery facility.

With support from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the Salish Seeds Project’s nursery at Red Mill Farm will focus initially on producing seed of federally-threatened golden paintbrush and plants that grow in association with paintbrush.

“Community involvement is central to the Salish Seeds Project,” said Habegger. “We are seeking volunteers to collect seed from the wild, tend the nursery, and eventually plant in restoration zones on preserves.”

Contact us about volunteering with the Salish Seeds Project.