IUP SEEDS Club Planning Fourth Annual Seed Swap Project

Posted on 10/25/2017 3:48:39 PM

An Indiana University of Pennsylvania student organization is looking for seeds and stories.

The Strategies for Ecology Education, Diversity and Sustainability (SEEDS) Club of IUP, a student-organized group, will host the fourth annual Community Seed Swap on October 28 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

The event, free and open to the community, will be held in the HUB Ohio Room.

The event is part of a larger project to add to the Northern Appalachian Seed Bank. Persons attending are encouraged to bring seeds and stories about the seeds. All seeds will be provided free. The students have been collecting native wildflower seeds regularly all summer to donate, so less-common wildflower species will be available. Some herb and vegetable seeds will be available.

From 1:30-2:30 p.m., Cindy Rogers, president of the Evergreen Conservancy, will present “Natives Versus Invasive Plants, are the Aliens Taking Over?” The presentation will discuss the benefits of gardening with native plants and the importance of maintaining native species in landscaping (seed swaps are a great way to acquire new wildflower seeds and heirloom garden seeds).  

Persons wishing to share seeds are asked to provide the following information about each type of seed: common name, year of harvest, growth habit (height of mature plant), and stories that go along with the seeds. Seeds can be brought in a bulk package.

No genetically modified organism (GMO) or hybrid seeds should be brought for exchange.

Tables will be set up with seeds divided by vegetable, fruit or plant; volunteers will be stationed at each table to oversee the labeling of donated seeds, the distribution of seeds, and answer questions.

The event is family-friendly.  After the speaker, students will lead a special children’s area complete with seed bombs (seeds bundled by kids), story time, pumpkin painting, home-made dipping dots ice cream, and other garden craft projects. The children’s activities are also free, assistance has been generously provided by the Ecological Society of America, the professional society of Ecologists that sponsors campus SEEDS clubs.

The Seed Swap is made possible by the support of the Biology Department, the Chemistry Department, the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, the student AXE club (Chemistry Fraternity), and the student ECO Club (Environmentally Conscious Organization). The student organizers of the Seed Swap are Rebekah Mikeasky, a biology major from Johnstown, and Esbeiry Cordova-Ortiz,a biology/ecology major from Avondale. The student president of the SEEDS club is Samantha Soto, a biology/ecology major from Pittsburgh.

The program was started by Gretchen McCormick, a May 2015 ecology, conservation and environmental biology graduate from Butler, the first president of the SEEDS Club. The Seed Swap was funded by an IUP Emerging Student Leader Grant.

For more information or to volunteer at the event, persons should contact Ellen Yerger, Faculty Advisor for the Biology Department SEEDS club, at ellen.yerger@iup.edu.