Volunteers in this small group primarily assist the Gardens to build its seedbank collection of local species for research and conservation.
The Seedy Volunteer program first commenced in the summer of 2011-12 and seeds have been collected during a series of one-day trips into nature reserves and some private lands around the ACT. During this 2011-12 season, seeds were collected from a total of 74 species.
Each week during the collecting season, 3 volunteers join an ANBG staff member and drive off to search for ripe seeds in selected bush sites.
Seeds of grasses, non-woody and woody native plants are collected and returned to the Garden, where staff and the Seed Bank Volunteers process the material collected and undertake germination tests. Quality seed is stored in the Seed Bank for conservation and to support research and education.
The local collections made by the Seedy Volunteers and ANBG staff are of potential value for ACT and regional conservation projects.
Each Seedy Volunteer is initially trained in the protocols of collecting seeds and taking voucher herbarium specimens. They are then able to assist in the collecting process by photographing the flora and surrounding environment and gathering seeds from carefully selected plants.
Each volunteer is rewarded by pleasant days out in the bush, the opportunity to hone their plant identification skills in the field, as well as contributing to ongoing conservation and research on Australian plants. The Friends assist in this program by coordinating the volunteer roster throughout the season.
Some volunteers from the ANBG Friends also assist in the Alpine Seed Collecting Project.