Below are several organizations that I am passionate about, have worked with or very regularly leverage for my urban gardening, native plant and houseplant projects.
The Audubon Society
The Audubon Society is responsible for significant research and advocacy in the areas of native plant reintroduction and research. The Audubon Society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and conservation of birds and their habitats. Founded in 1905, the organization has been instrumental in shaping the conservation movement in the United States. The goals of the Audubon Society are to protect and restore bird populations and their habitats, promote conservation education, and advocate for policies that support biodiversity and habitat conservation, which incidentally are very focused on native plants and plant biodiversity.
Over the years, the Audubon Society has achieved many notable accomplishments in its efforts to protect bird populations and their habitats. One of its most significant achievements was the passage of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, which protected migratory birds from hunting and other threats. The organization has also played a key role in establishing and managing protected areas for birds, such as the Audubon Sanctuary System, which consists of over 100 bird sanctuaries across the United States. In addition, the Audubon Society has been involved in numerous conservation and research projects, such as its successful campaign to restore the bald eagle population in the United States. Through its advocacy and outreach efforts, the Audubon Society continues to work towards its mission of protecting birds and their habitats for future generations.
While their mission is focused on the protection of birds, one of the biggest threats to bird populations are deforestation and habitat loss, which is rectified in part through the introduction of native plants into your yard in order to feed the insects that feed the birds. If you’re interested in introducing native plants into your yard, I highly recommend using their database tool that can match your zipcode to the ecologically significant plants of the area. That tool can be found here.
Washington University’s Miller Seed Vault
Washington University has the largest seed bank in the PNW and nearly always has opportunities for locals to volunteer and get involved in rare plant conservation and research. You can visit the seed bank and learn more by visiting here. Seed banks are critical repositories of plant genetic diversity that play a vital role in preserving the world’s biodiversity and ensuring food security. These banks store seeds from a wide variety of plant species, including many that are endangered, and keep them safe for future generations. Seed banks serve as a backup in case of natural disasters, climate change, or other threats to plant populations, and they can be used to restore damaged ecosystems or support agricultural production. Moreover, seed banks also facilitate research into plant genetics, which can lead to the development of new crop varieties that are more resilient to pests, diseases, and environmental stress. In short, seed banks are crucial for the preservation of plant species and the sustainable management of our planet’s resources.
The Urban Plant Project
More details coming soon. This is a major project of mine referenced on the site here.