College of Forest Resources, University of Washington Botanic Gardens
Plant Conservation at UW Botanic Gardens
The University of Washington Botanic Gardens (formerly the Center for Urban Horticulture and the Washington Park Arboretum) has an active program in plant conservation that involves research, outreach, and extensive partnerships with federal, state, and local agencies. The Rare Care program, started in 1999, uses graduate students to research the recovery needs of Washington's rare plants. Two staff members train and coordinate efforts of over a hundred volunteers that monitor rare plant populations across the state, giving status information to the agencies who manage the populations. In 2003 a state-of-the-art secure seed vault and laboratory was built to protect and preserve seeds of rare plants. It may also be used to house seeds for UW research projects. The UWBG is a member of the Center for Plant Conservation, a network of 32 institutions doing similar work on rarity across the United States.