The mission of Wild Seed Project is to inspire people to take action and join us in increasing the presence of native plants grown from wild seed. Our vision is that people create and repopulate landscapes to be abundant with native plants that safeguard wildlife habitat, support biodiversity, and mitigate the effects of climate change.
What we do: Wild Seed Project builds awareness of the vital importance of native plants and provides all people with the tools to restore biodiversity in their own communities. We equip community members, public officials and municipalities, and land-holding individuals and organizations – from farmers to land trusts – with the skills and resources they need to collectively repopulate landscapes with native plants that expand wildlife habitat, support biodiversity, and build climate resilience.
Our core programs include: native seed collection & propagation; adult education; school partnerships; applied ecology & community seed gardens; and an annual print publication. To learn more about our programs, click here.
Land & Knowledge Acknowledgment: Wild Seed Project is located within ancestral Wabanaki territory now called Maine. We recognize the inherent sovereignty of the tribes of the Wabanaki, the People of the Dawn—the Abenaki, Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, Mi’kmaq Nation, Penobscot Nation and Passamaquoddy Tribe. We support their continued work for justice, self-determination and decolonization.
The work of Wild Seed Project is necessary precisely because of the ongoing violence of settler colonialism. The exploitative practices of European colonizers, which continue to this day, are directly responsible for the displacement of the native plants that form the foundation of local food webs that we are working to restore. What does it mean to build and rebuild reciprocal relationships with people, plants, fungi, soil, water and air? Reestablishing resilient ecosystems in which all forms of life can thrive is one piece of deconstructing a colonial legacy.
As we do our work at Wild Seed Project, we are clear: This knowledge and information did not start, nor will it end, with us. The resources we share are gathered from many teachers, both human and nonhuman. We encourage you to learn more about the historical and present-day relationships of Indigenous communities to the place you live (native-lands.ca), and to join us in supporting Indigenous-led efforts to protect the land, water, plants and creatures among us.
This land & knowledge acknowledgment is a living document. We welcome your feedback.
Our history: Wild Seed Project was founded in 2014 by Heather McCargo. As a lead plant propagator in the early 1990s, Heather saw firsthand the gatekeeping involved in native plant propagation. She rejected the dominant belief that it was a task that only the most highly-trained and educated scientists could take on. Yes, native seed sowing requires care and attention, but with clear guidance – anyone could do this. Not in a lab or a greenhouse, but on back porches, balconies, and city stoops. Anywhere, for anyone. Wild plants – and the food webs and wildlife they support – are losing out as we face expanding human impact, loss of biodiversity, and a rapidly warming climate. These plants have supported us, and all life on earth, for thousands of years. We must return to the practice of supporting them.
All of us have to get our hands in the dirt. All of us have to pay attention. All of us have to care. So that’s what we do – we’re building a movement of citizen ecologists collectively taking action to restore our ecosystem. Join us.