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Maricopa Native Seed Library: About

What's new

  • We are launching a pollinator habitat certification program specific for our region! This is a natural outgrowth of our mission to increase habitat at home. Read more about it! Note: we are a bit behind in processing applications so please bear with us.
  • Check out our YouTube channel for free workshops on native plant gardening in the Sonoran Desert
  • An article about the seed library has been published in the Plant Press, a publication of the Arizona Native Plant Society
  • Interested in opening a native seed library to serve your community? Watch our recorded workshop on how to implement a native seed library.
  • The seed library has been awarded a Horizon Grant from the Maricopa Center for Learning and Innovation to hire to interns for the upcoming academic year
  • ​We've given out over 4100 seed packets since opening in August, 2020!
  • See media coverage of the Maricopa Native Seed Library: TV 15KJZZ's The Show, the Phoenix New Times. Wondering about the mustard plant prominently featured in the article? See this follow up for more information. 


Vision and Purpose

The Maricopa Native Seed library provides free, native seed to the community, as well as education and information to make it easy to incorporate these plants into your yards, patios and balconies. Anyone can include some native plants into their residences, whether you have a lot of space or a small apartment.

The benefits of gardening are numerous and well documented, both for people and for wildlife! Everyone can participate in conserving native plants and the pollinators and other wildlife that depend on them, even with a small amount of native plants. The Maricopa Native Seed Library invites you to join with us in creating a living landscape at home. The seed library also features a range of desert-adapted varieties of fruits, vegetables and grains to address food security in our community.

Want to learn more about the seed library's origins and how seed is collected? Watch this interview with the seed library's founder, Danielle Carlock.


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Where to get seeds

To reach as many people as possible, the Maricopa Native Seed Library has established several locations across the Valley. To learn more about the seeds we offer, see our plant profiles and lists. Note that at all locations only 3 seed packets can be taken per month.

Obtaining seeds:

1. Phoenix College Library - Check website for hours. Seeds are available to the public just inside library entrance.  

2. Gateway Community College Library-visit website for hours and additional information. 

3. Red Mountain campus of Mesa Community College-offers seeds within the RM Library, 2nd floor, Desert Willow Building at the Red Mountain campus. The campus is located at 7110 E McKellips Rd, Mesa, and the library is open to everyone including community members. To check on availability and library hours, please call the Red Mountain Library Circulation Desk at 480-654-7741.

4. Scottsdale Community College Library-the seed display in the lobby is open to the public (remainder of the library currently open only to faculty, staff, students and Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community members). Check website for hours.




Where did the seeds come from?

The seeds in the seed library come from the following sources:

1. Tonto National Forest-the majority of seeds have been collected under permit from the Tonto National Forest, including sites in the Superstitions, Mazatzals, and Cave Creek/Seven Springs areas.

2. Scottsdale Community College-seeds have been collected at the SCC campus, including and especially those for which large populations on the Tonto have not been locatedSeeds have been collected in collaboration with the Center for Native and Urban Wildlife which has been coordinating student volunteers to help collect seed.

3. Home garden-some seeds have been collected from the home garden of the seed library's founder. This includes some species that have been difficult to locate in the wild including Conoclinium greggii, three native Hibiscus species, Gailardia, Penstemon parryi, Penstemon pseudospectabilis, and Penstemon palmeri.

4. Tempe Papago Preserve-the City of Tempe has recently issued a permit for the seed library

5. Donations-The seed library has obtained donations of food plant seeds from various seed companies as well as native plant seed donations from local gardeners.


Maricopa Community Colleges acknowledge the land our colleges are situated on today as the traditional land and home of the O'odham, Piipaash, Yavapai, and Yaqui peoples. There are 22 federally recognized tribes in Arizona and 574 across the United States. We acknowledge the painful history of genocide and forced removal from this territory, and we honor and respect the many diverse Indigenous peoples still connected to this land on which we gather. Without them, we would not have access to our education or the land we live, work, learn and commune on. We take this opportunity to thank the original caretakers of this land. We offer our respect to their Elders and to all Indigenous people of the past, present and future.  

For more information please contact us at