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Banking on seeds for the future

Posted: 3:23 PM, Feb 07, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-10 17:32:37-05

NAPLES, Fla. — Have you ever noticed all the beautiful native plants we have here in Southwest Florida? They are all around us, but unfortunately, they’re being threatened by people, development, & climate change.

The Naples Botanical Garden is trying to do something about that by collecting & preserving native plant seeds without changing the environment.

Chad Washburn is the Vice President of Conservation at the garden & he says, “we really have to be concerned with losing all the biodiversity, whether it be plants, animals, or insects. All life on Earth depends on plants, clean air, clean water; our food depends on plants. It’s vital.”

Each day, conservation associate, Jessica DeYoung, go out in the Florida scrub & collects a few seeds. There are some that the garden is particularly interested in she says, “This is Chrysopsis Scabrella & it is currently not in any other garden collection around the world.” But it still exists here, at least for now.

Even as small as these seeds are, they have a huge impact on the future of this planet. After they are collected, they are taken inside to a lab where they are frozen for future generations.

Washburn says the seeds can be preserved for thousands of years if necessary “If there’s a devastating wildfire in our preserve, we have them for restoration we are the Noah’s Arc for plants of SW Florida & across the Caribbean region.”