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Stocked with seeds gathered from the vacant lots, street verges, superfund sites and abandoned infrastructure, the seed library provides a gene pool of tough, highly adaptable plants well-suited to live in close quarters with humans and their attendant landscape transformations.

Offering services like soil stabilization, moisture retention, heat island reversal, toxic bio-accumulation and medicinal and nutritional attributes, these plants are the ideal pioneer species, prepared to heal the wounds inflicted by a changing climate unsustainable resource extraction. Spontaneous urban plant communities will form the base of new, novel ecosystems as we move through the bottleneck of the sixth mass extinction. Dedicated to overcoming plant-blindness in contemporary urban life, NESL believes that reciprocal networks of plants and people can provide a solid foundation for building ecologically just communities.

Read more: It’s seed collecting season!