Tuesday, December 16, 2008



Douglas Tallamy’s book Bringing Nature Home has inspired gardeners across the country to explore gardening with native plants. When Tallamy spoke at a Berks County Hort Club program in October his message was enthusiastically received by local gardeners, many of whom are eager to incorporate more native plants into their landscapes.

Recently several Berks Countians met to discuss how to make native plant seeds and seedlings available for the increasing needs and opportunities in our area. The result was formation of the Berks Native Plant Seed Bank, whose goal is to make native plant seeds available for planting of public and private lands, to restore habitat, discourage invasive plant populations and provide sustainable biodiversity.

Mike and Jan Slater of Brecknock (?) township have collected seeds of as many as 100 native species. The Slaters have created an electronic database of all identified plants in Berks County, both native and non-native. This index is annotated to indicate which seeds the Slaters have available.

The BNPSB will create an electronic clearinghouse to list seed availability, along with photographs and profiles of each native plant from which seed has been collected. The site will also list county locations where seeds are needed and will provide tools to create an accurate profile of each site to facilitate plant selection.

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