Preserving Local Natural Heritage
Among the many plant conservation projects that the Seed Bank works on is saving the Tecate cypress tree. This species only grows in certain locations in Southern California and northern Baja California, Mexico, and wildfire decimated the population in Otay Mesa, California, in 2003. The Institute for Conservation Research’s (ICR) Plant Ecology Division collected and preserved seeds of this species and has been growing seedlings in an off-exhibit greenhouse (below). In 2013, a grove of these endangered trees was established in Jamul (left), and ICR hopes to add even more trees in the near future.