Contract seed collection services

Conservation begins with source-identified Ontario native seeds.

At St. Williams Nursery & Ecology Centre (SWNEC), we're here to help you get started with your next project.

With contract seed collecting, our knowledgeable team of specialists can go to work to help restore ecosystem, species, and genetic biodiversity according to the goals and needs of your next project. To save time and costs, we can also work together to make use of native seeds that have been collected or supplied by our partners and clients.


Let's work together

For quality Ontario native seed, our team collaborates across organizations and departments to maximize what we can deliver and better support biodiversity conservation. Our team is uniquely positioned in Ontario with extensive experience, specialties, facilities, and seed resources that mean we will hit the ground running.

Over the years, we have developed processes, tools, and resources that we bring to each of our projects, which include:

  • A fully-equipped seed processing warehouse and lab, managed in-house to test, clean, and prepare seed. Seed is managed according to species requirements for storage and stratification.
  • An large and diverse collection of source-identified Ontario native seed over . Wild collections in storage feature a wide diversity of native plant species and we can also scale up production sustainably through growing bulk seed crops in our wholesale nursery fields and greenhouse.
  • Teams of native plant and seed specialists, ecologists, and biologists experienced in locating, identifying, gathering and processing seed from native species for conservation.
  • Continuous improvement on our efforts. Working together with our seed, growing, and restoration project teams helps us to review and understand germination results and growth in nursery setting and in the wild.


Why source-identified native seed? What you plant matters.

Where your next project sources native seed from has a real impact on its results. Using source-identified native seed sourced nearby your Ontario seed zone is backed by conservation science and will help ensure more lasting success. This is because this approach will help to:

  1. Emulate nature, such that plants are grown from seed sourced and gathered from local populations and individuals in the areas near where new plants are intended to grow.

  2. Add greater biodiversity among local species populations and genetics.

  3. Conserve plant adaptations to the intended environment while maintaining and growing more connections with local wildlife.

  4. Support the continuous evolution of true native species, of which many are also at risk of local extinction due to habitat loss.


 Our commitment to sustainability & ethical practices - At SWNEC, we are committed to protecting and conserving natural biodiversity, especially for vulnerable or sensitive populations. We adhere to the Native Plants Guidelines for Commercial Native Plant Growers of the North American Native Plant Society and follow the Society of Ecological Restoration guidelines for wild seed collection. Often we can sustainably scale up seed yields through agricultural production methods at our nursery, which are neonic-free as part of our mission to preserve, maintain, and grow healthy ecosystems that we know support and rely on beneficial insects.


Source-identified Ontario native seed collection