Commissioners launch Seed Saving Library

The program will enable county residents to order seeds online and at, among other sources.

The board of commissioners has joined forces with the Camden County Certified Gardeners to unveil a county Seed Saving Library, a resource that will offer residents easy access to a diverse range of seeds for fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers.

Through the initiative, residents can conveniently order seeds via and collect them at multiple locations, including all branches of the county library system, Camden County College libraries at the Blackwood and Camden campuses and the Camden County Office of Sustainability on the Lakeland campus in Blackwood.

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“This is an exciting and innovative program that we are proud to be launching,” said Commissioner Jonathan Young, liaison to the Office of Sustainability. “Through this initiative, we hope to accomplish several things, including preserving and strengthening local biodiversity by offering heirloom and locally adapted seeds, encouraging gardening and local food production, promoting healthy lifestyles and community engagement and educating the public.”

Seed library programs are rapidly gaining popularity worldwide, with an estimated 600 of them in the U.S. and several in the region, according to the Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy. There are also programs in both Burlington and Gloucester counties.

Valerie Brown, program coordinator for the Office of Sustainability, underscored the value of the idea.

“These programs are a valuable resource for gardeners of all levels because they encourage sustainable gardening practices, promote biodiversity and help build a healthier community,” she explained. “Through the seed library, residents can learn about seed saving, gardening and the importance of preserving local plant varieties.”

County library system Director Linda Devlin also emphasized the partnership with the Certified Gardeners in launching the seed initiative.

“The library is already a wonderful resource for our communities,” she noted, “so adding this component will only entice more people to visit their local library branch. The seed library brings a unique element to what the Camden County Library System already offers, and we cannot wait to get started on this exciting venture.”

The Certified Gardeners is a volunteer organization that will play a pivotal role in the seed library by offering educational workshops and resources on seed saving, gardening techniques and plant identification. Caliope Bledy, coordinator of the nonprofit, emphasized its commitment to the seed program.

“The Certified Gardeners have been busy sorting, packaging, labeling, and organizing thousands of seeds to help Camden County residents cultivate beautiful gardens,” she pointed out. “They are also available to answer your gardening questions throughout the year and offer educational classes to help master the art of gardening.”

Isabel Gray, director of the Camden County College library, also praised the collaboration.

“The seed library is a wonderful way to promote sustainability and biodiversity,” she offered, “and incorporating it into the county and college library system will allow residents to access these tools more easily.”

For more information about the Camden County Certified Gardeners, visit or email

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