What is a Native Seed Library?
A Native Seed Library is a collection of native seeds that are freely distributed to all library users. Not only is this an effective way to connect with our Westfield community, it also positively impacts the environment, because it encourages local gardeners to grow native plants.
This will make it much easier for gardeners to find new plants that will be sustainable and environmentally friendly additions to their gardens. The Native Seed Library also includes a collection of books and other materials that are related to native plants in order to further educate members of our community on the importance of growing and protecting these native plants in our area.
Native plants are especially important now, more than ever, due to climate change and human interference with the natural environment. Recently, invasive species have been harming the local areas because they decrease biodiversity and compete with the native plants, which can damage the habitats that our environment is dependent on.
Native plants can improve the biodiversity of our community by supporting the habitats of many species of native birds and insects. They can also slow the rate of climate change because they store greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide, they require less fertilizers and insecticides, and they help conserve water.
How does it work?
Seeds are packaged in small envelopes and organized by plant variety in small drawers. They are freely distributed to the entire community by way of Westfield’s Native Seed Library.
All of our seeds are from local sources and they will be collected, organized, labeled, and distributed to anyone who uses the library. There will also be brief facts and information available that correspond with each of the plants offered in the seed library. In addition to a collection of books related to the importance of native plants, the library will also offer a series of lectures and workshops that offer tips and basic information about planting and growing native plants. Westfield’s Native Seed Library will be open for anyone to use, and a library card or sign out sheet will not be needed.
What seeds are available?
Seeds are rotated on a seasonable basis to ensure that all seeds are seasonably appropriate for planting.
Current seeds available for spring 2023 include:
Zinnia from American Meadows
Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) from Ernst Seeds
Partridge Pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata) from Ernst Seeds
Where is the Native Seed Library located?
The Native Seed Library is located in the Westfield Memorial Library (550 East Broad Street, Westfield, NJ 07090). This project is presented in partnership by the Town of Westfield Green Team and the Westfield Memorial Library, with generous funding from the Friends of the Westfield Memorial Library.
About the Native Seed Library
The Native Seed Library was created for the purpose of encouraging Westfield residents to practice more sustainable forms of gardening, while also bringing members of our community together through our workshops and lectures related to growing native plants.
Additionally, our Native Seed Library encourages members of the community do their part to combat climate change. One of our main goals is to improve the overall health of our community by decreasing the need for pesticides and herbicides, which can be harmful to local areas as they increase the amount of chemicals and runoff in an area.
We will also aim to combat climate change by encouraging gardeners to grow plants that more effectively store greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide, along with choosing plants that conserve more water.
Our Native Seed Library supports local wildlife by providing habitats and natural food supplies for the birds and mammals that depend on these plants to survive. It also provides nectar for important insects that pollinate our crops such as bees, butterflies, and moths. By proliferating the use of native seeds, we will help create a more sustainable town and encourage members of our community to take action against climate change in their very own gardens.: Westfield’s Native Seed Library