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By Kate Wellons
IAE coordinates two seed partnerships in the Northwest: the Willamette Valley Native Plant Partnership (WVNPP) and the Coastal Native Seed Partnership (CNSP). These partnerships are designed to increase the availability and diversity of ecologically appropriate native seed while strengthening regional native seed industries, with the ultimate goal of improving restoration success. Huge thanks to our funders, Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board and Bureau of Land Management, for supporting this work. Here’s what our Northwest partnerships have been up to lately!
In January, the WVNPP held a plant materials conference in partnership with the Southwest Seed Partnership and Institute for Applied Ecology. Recordings of conference presentations are available online at Bridging the Gap (YouTube). Note that the National Native Seed Conference will be returning to Washington, D.C., in 2023 – more details to come soon!
This season we’re growing eight different species and are excited for our first major harvest from four bulb species this fall. We’re also collecting seed for two species to enter into production in the 2023-2024 seasons. Seed orders are beginning to roll in again as the restoration planting season approaches. We currently have seed available from nine species for purchase by partners, with additional species coming this fall. A regularly updated seed order form is available on our website: Willamette Valley Native Plant Partnership.
This spring, we began a new round of connecting with partners for one-on-one conversations and conducting outreach to potential partners as we prepare for a fresh round of strategic planning for the WVNPP, which is now entering its second decade of partnership.
The CNSP is helping to coordinate seed collection and production planning for a collaborative project to restore Oregon silverspot butterfly habitat along the coast. Did you miss the screening this spring of Silverspot: The Flight to Recovery about OSB recovery efforts? It’s a great watch in under 20 minutes: Silverspot - The Flight to Recovery. You can also view the full recording of the film’s premiere followed by a panel discussion here: Silverspot Premiere and Panel Discussion.
We’re currently growing two coastal species for the CNSP at the IAE farm and collecting seed for three more species to enter into production, as well as meeting with coastal growers to plan out future production. Seed from two species is available for purchase via the order form on our website: Coastal Native Seed Partnership.
Want to learn more or get involved with our Northwest seed partnerships? You can sign up to receive newsletters and partnership updates directly on our partnership webpages. Partners can purchase seed any time of year by submitting an order form, available on our partnership websites. You can attend annual general membership meetings, which occur in November or December each year. If you have land and farming experience, you could grow a native seed bed. For more information about any of these topics, get in touch with Northwest Native Seed Partnerships Coordinator Kate Wellons at [email protected].