Commissioners Launch Seed Saving Program with Camden County College, County Library System

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(Blackwood, NJ) – The Board of Commissioners has partnered with the Camden County Certified Gardeners to launch the Camden County Seed Saving Library, a resource that will offer residents convenient access to a diverse selection of seeds for a variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers.

Through the program, residents can simply order seeds at and pick them up at all branches of the Camden County Library System, Camden County College Libraries – Blackwood and Camden Campuses and the Camden County Office of Sustainability in Blackwood on the Lakeland campus.

“This is an exciting and innovative program that we are proud to be launching,” said Commissioner Jonathan Young, liaison to the Office of Sustainability. “Through this initiative, we hope to accomplish several things including preserving and strengthening local biodiversity by offering heirloom and locally adapted seeds, encouraging gardening and local food production, promoting healthy lifestyles and community engagement, and educating the public.”

A seed library is a place where residents can check out seeds for free. These types of programs are gaining popularity across the world with an estimated 600 seed libraries operating across the country and several right here in our region.

“These programs are a valuable resource for gardeners of all levels because they encourage sustainable gardening practices, promote biodiversity, and helps build a healthier community,” said Valerie Brown, program coordinator for the Office of Sustainability. “Through the seed library, residents can learn about seed saving, gardening, and the importance of preserving local plant varieties.”

Linda Devlin, director of the Camden County Library System, discussed her excitement about the partnership with the Certified Gardeners.

“The library is already a wonderful resource for our communities so adding this component will only entice more people to visit their local library branch,” Devlin said. “The seed library brings a unique element to what the Camden County Library System already offers, and we cannot wait to get started on this exciting venture.”

The Certified Gardeners of Camden County is an award-winning non-profit volunteer organization whose members are trained county residents interested in increasing gardening knowledge and sharing their expertise with their communities through community outreach. These gardeners will play a vital role in the seed library as they will offer educational workshops and resources on seed saving, gardening techniques, and plant identification, available at the library and select locations.

“The Certified Gardeners have been busy sorting, packaging, labeling, and organizing thousands of seeds to help Camden County residents cultivate beautiful gardens,” said Caliope Bledy, coordinator of the Camden County Certified Gardeners Program. “They are also available to answer your gardening questions throughout the year and offer educational classes to help master the art of gardening.”

Isabel Gray, director of the Camden County College Library, discussed how this collaboration will positively impact the Camden Count community.

“At Camden County College, we are always looking for ways to collaborate with community partners to create programs and resources that benefit those who call Camden County home,” Grey said. “The seed library is a wonderful way to promote sustainability and biodiversity and incorporating it into the county and college library system will allow residents to access these tools more easily.”

Seed Library, March 27, 2024