The Greenbelt Native Plant Center of the New York City Parks and Recreation Department

By Marcello DeVitis in collaboration with Clara Holmes, seed collection coordinator of the NYC Parks Greenbelt Native Plant Center

This 13-acre facility, located on Staten Island (NY), produces native seeds and plants to be used by the municipality of New York for the restoration and management of green urban areas in the city and the surrounding urban natural areas. A team of experienced botanists, restoration practitioners and technicians works on seed collection and storage; plant propagation; greenhouse and nursery production. This talented team is driven by a great passion and commitment towards conservation and restoration that, together with their highly specialised knowledge, are the keys to find the best solution to every different restoration case and to solve challenges in production and propagation due to the highly diverse requirements of native species.

Clara Holmes, seed collection coordinator, explaining how seeds are collected and stored in the seed bank of the Greenbelt Native Plant Center. So far, ca. 633 species are stored in this bank.

Clara Holmes, seed collection coordinator, explaining how seeds are collected and stored in the seed bank of the Greenbelt Native Plant Center. So far, ca. 633 species are stored in this bank.

The aphorism by the Chinese philosopher Laozi “To see things in a seed, that is genius” hanging on the wall of the seed bank to inspire the everyday work.

The aphorism by the Chinese philosopher Laozi “To see things in a seed, that is genius” hanging on the wall of the seed bank to inspire the everyday work.

The nursery manager Jeremy LaPointe explaining the plant propagation process and showing the facilities.  

The nursery manager Jeremy LaPointe explaining the plant propagation process and showing the facilities.

 

An artificial sand dune created at the Center to grow and propagate native psammophytes.

An artificial sand dune created at the Center to grow and propagate native psammophytes.