Seed Bank & Conservation Program Needs Your Help

Lilium occidentale endangered plant
and conservation program
reintroduction subject.
Photo by Ed Guerrant

The Berry Botanic Garden (BBG) closed and is selling its 6.5-acre Dunthorpe estate. The good news is that the BBG native plant seed bank*, established in 1983, has a new home at Portland State University. BBG’s conservation program collects the seed of endangered plants, grows new starts and reintroduces them into their native habitat. They also collect seed from native Oregon plants as insurance for the future and have over 3.3 million seeds representing more than 350 of the region’s rarest and most endangered plants. PSU’s increased capacity for collecting and saving seeds of rare and endangered plants for the future make this an exciting move that will benefit the entire state.

Two volunteers in BBG conservation lab

BBG is fundraising to cover the costs of the move and to supply the seed bank at PSU with equipment and a solid transition. John Gray, philanthropist and Berry Botanic Garden member, has generously offered to match up to $25,000 for this effort. BBG’s membership has risen to the challenge and donated half of that, but they are hoping to raise the rest of the funds by the end of February to take full advantage of the match.

Visit BBG’s website to find out more.

*The Berry Botanic Garden Seed Bank for Rare and Endangered Plants of the Pacific Northwest was established in 1983 as the first seed bank in the U.S. dedicated exclusively to rare and endangered plants. A short time later, the Berry Botanic Garden became a founding member of the Center for Plant Conservation, a national network dedicated to using off-site collections as a means of conserving and restoring America’s most vulnerable native plants. The BBG seed bank has grown considerably since its start, not only in the number of species collected but also in the technical ability to store seeds safely for long periods of time. The nationwide professional community provided by the Center for Plant Conservation enabled the BBG Seed Bank to become a globally recognized leader in the field of ex situ, or off-site plant conservation. Seed banks are a means to an end: supporting species survival in the wild. The BBG Seed Bank has either supplied seed for or has been directly involved in reintroduction projects involving almost a dozen species.