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Native Seed Library: About

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 will follow a distributed model, establishing several locations across the Valley:

1. GWCC Library-visit website for hours and additional information; seed distribution will begin on August 24th, 2020. Note: Because of the COVID 19 situation, at this time, only faculty, staff and students may utilize the seed library.

2. Arizona Community Farmer's Markets& other venues.-the seed library is starting to attend farmer's markets where you can obtain free seeds. A schedule will be posted shortly. Our next market appearance will be Thursday, October 15th at Sun City Farmer's MarketThe seed library will be at the Butterfly Wonderland plant sale Sunday, October 18th from 9-12, with seeds to give away, with a special emphasis on those that support butterflies and other pollinators!

3. We are currently working on a process to mail seeds out. Stay tuned! 

How to use the library

Go to the seed library and take no more than 3 seed packets per month. The plant profiles and lists can help you choose your seeds before you come. You can also contact us for a free garden consultation to enhance your existing home landscape to attract more wildlife, save water, and add more beauty and enjoyment to your home.  

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-some seeds have been collected at the SCC campus, including and especially those for which large populations on the Tonto have not been located (ex: Penstemon eatonii, Datura wrightii)

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, all three Hibiscus species, Gaillardia aristata, Penstemon parryi, Penstemon pseudospectabilis, and Penstemon palmeri.

4. Donations-The seed library has obtained some donations of food plant seeds, and is working on obtaining additional donations.

For more information please contact us at