SEEDS is a project about keeping the environmental torch burning and preparing the next generation to take it.
South Australia has about 4,000 endemic vascular species of plant, of which around 25% are listed as threatened. SEEDS is about saving them from extinction. More importantly it’s about engaging and educating young people in this process and empowering them to take action as environmental custodians and scientists.
In 2014, 14 schools across metropolitan, regional, primary, secondary, government, independent and catholic school sites began trialling the SEEDS project.
How does SEEDS work? Scientists from the South Australian Seed Conservation Centre at Adelaide Botanic Garden provide schools with the seed of a local registered threatened species and show students how to propagate them.
The students then grow on the plants and plant them in the school. With support from local scientists, students will also revegetate a place in their community. Later they’ll collect seed with a view to teaching the following year’s group how to repeat the process.
Effectively the school, students and community will become environmental custodians of their endangered species, helping to maintain a living and viable source of the seed.