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New MG Project Part of Seeds of Success

Cumberland Trail SignA newly approved Master Gardener of Hamilton County Project gets off the ground and on the trails Wednesday, September 15 at the Bowater-North Chickamauga Pocket Wilderness (Blue Hole – off Montlake Road) section of the Cumberland Trail State Scenic Trail (CTSST).  Under the supervision and expert eye of the State Park Rangers, Master Gardeners and other volunteers will be collecting seeds for specific native plant species.  The seeds will be going in smaller lots to the USDA seed storage facility in Fort Collins, Colorado and in larger lots to the Kew Gardens Millennium Seed Bank as part of the Seeds of Success program.  Additionally, the State Park will use collected seeds to help reseed sections of the Cumberland Forest that have been recently donated and are in need of restoration to a more natural state.

Since fall and spring are ideal times for seed collection, we will be working on short notice based on the CTSST Ranger’s observations of optimal collection times.  Trips will be called several times in the next few weeks, so watch for announcements on this site and through the Native Plants and Wildflower Group communications.

Seeds of Success (SOS) was established in 2001 by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in partnership with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Millennium Seed Bank (MSB) to collect, conserve, and develop native plant materials for stabilizing, rehabilitating and restoring lands in the United States. The initial partnership between BLM and MSB quickly grew to include many additional partners, such as botanic gardens, arboreta, zoos, and municipalities. These SOS teams share a common protocol and coordinate seed collecting and species targeting efforts. SOS is a vital part of the Native Plant Materials Development Program.

To date, SOS has over 8,163 native seed collections in its National Collection. This material is being used for direct seeding in local restoration projects and research such as germination trials, common garden studies, and protocol establishment. Portions of each collection are also being held in long-term storage facilities for conservation.

In June of 2008, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the Bureau of Land Management, Chicago Botanic Garden, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, New England Wild Flower Society, New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, North Carolina Botanical Garden, and the Zoological Society of San Diego. The MOU ratifies Seeds of Success as a national native seed collection program in the United States coordinated by BLM.

For more information about the MGHC Cumberland Trail collection project, you can use the contact form below:

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