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NYC plays crucial role in global seed-banking project
Emily Gertz, 13 Aug 07

The global Millennium Seed Bank Project is collecting and preserving seeds in just one urban area in the Western Hemisphere: New York City. According to reporter Andy Newman in The New York Times last week, New York earned this honor because it has what the City claims is the only municipal native-plant nursery in the country:

The Greenbelt Native Plant Center, a little-known wing of the parks department based in an old farmhouse on Staten Island, has spent two decades raising specimens of the city’s indigenous flora ... for use in restoration and replanting projects.

What this means for posterity is that a hundred or a thousand years from now, should the bomb fall or the seas rise, the tellers at the Millennium Seed Bank in West Sussex, England, will be able to open the vault where the seeds are stored at minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit and 15 percent humidity, thaw out some Polygonatum pubescens, and start New York City all over again.

Locally, Brooklyn and Staten Island are still picking up the pieces from last week's shocker of a tornado -- the first such to hit the city in over a century, it seems. Is it due to global climate disruption? Impossible to say at this point. But it's good to know that this seed bank is providing a little genetic insurance against a big disruption of our local biosphere.

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That's an really cool concept. Nice to know someone is looking out for New York's post apocalyptic state. Considering the abysmal weather we've had this summer, and the fact that a tornado in New York occurs as frequently as a good season for the Knicks, I'm predicting that it might not be such a bad idea in the long (or shorter) run.

Posted by: Dee Lightly on 14 Aug 07



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