A Richland Soil and Water Conservation District (RSWCD) program that provides free vegetable, herb and wildflower seeds to County residents is re-launching with a second permanent location, thanks to funding from a Dominion Energy Environmental Education and Stewardship Grant.
The RSWCD’s Seed Sanctuary will open its new location Wednesday, Feb. 1 in the hallway outside the RSWCD office at the Richland County Administration Building, 2020 Hampton St., Room 3063A, Columbia. The Seed Sanctuary will be accessible during business hours.
“The goals of RSWCD’s Seed Sanctuary are to promote food security and pollinator conservation through home gardening,” said Diana Llaca-Curiel, RSWCD community outreach intern. “It’s a great program for both beginners and experienced home gardeners. I’m excited for our community to have easier and more consistent access to our seeds.”
Richland County residents can still get seeds at the program’s original permanent location, the Seed Sanctuary cabinet at Richland Library Eastover, 608 Main St., Eastover.
Alternatively, by submitting a request online, residents can have four packets of vegetable, herb or wildflower seeds mailed to their address while supplies last. Mailed varieties will be selected from the list of seeds on the Richland County Seed Sanctuary website.
Seeds also will be distributed this spring during Pop-Up Seed Sanctuary events at community gatherings, festivals and farmers markets. Event coordinators interested in scheduling a Pop-Up Seed Sanctuary appearance should email firstname.lastname@example.org. Appearances will be scheduled first come, first served and are limited by staff availability.
The 2023 Seed Sanctuary program is made possible by a $6,000 Environmental Education and Stewardship Grant from the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation, as well as through contributions from individuals and businesses through the Friends of RSWCD.
Growing guides for available seed varieties are listed on the Seed Sanctuary website. Year-round availability of seed varieties at each Seed Sanctuary location will depend on stock and seasonality.
The RSWCD promotes the wise use and care of natural resources for long-term sustainability. Richland County supports the work of the RSWCD with staff and other resources. To learn more about the mission and programs of the RSWCD, visit www.richlandcountysc.gov/rswcd.