Public Release:  Missouri Botanical Garden program announces collaboration with L'Herboretum

Partnership allows Sacred Seeds program to expand to Europe

Missouri Botanical Garden

(ST. LOUIS): Sacred Seeds, an international non-profit that supports plant conservation and addresses the rapid loss of biodiversity and cultural knowledge, has extended its reach to Europe through collaboration with L'Herboretum whose international headquarters are in Saint-Ay, France. Sacred Seeds is a network of plant gardens devoted to preserving plants of medicinal and cultural significance. The program is administered by the Missouri Botanical Garden's William L. Brown Center.

Sacred Seeds also works to foster the traditional uses and knowledge of these treasured plant species, honoring their sacred roles in indigenous communities. Currently, the program connects 28 gardens in 13 countries on six continents.

"L'Herboretum is one of the leading forces in international plant conservation, and its garden in Saint-Ay is a treasure of French ethnobotany, said Thomas Newmark, founder of Sacred Seeds. "L'Herboretum is the first European partner in the Sacred Seeds network, and we are thrilled to be collaborating with the visionary leaders of this great association."

Ashley Glenn is a research specialist at the William L. Brown Center in St. Louis.

"The staff at L'Herboretum clearly has a passion for ethnobotanical knowledge on both a local and global level. They make an ideal European hub for sharing the need to preserve threatened knowledge and plants, and for celebrating the innovation and dedication of conservationists around the world," said Glenn.

L'Herboretum, through The Herboretum Network of gardens, is the leading botanical association in France and is dedicated to conserving medicinal, cosmetic and sacred plants. It maintains a 22-acre garden on the heart of the Loire Valley and is an historic landmark. Leading scholars and business leaders have joined in The Herboretum Association, and it enjoys the patronage of The Alban Muller Group, a leading specialist in natural extracts in France. Alban Muller, President of The Alban Muller Group, expressed his enthusiastic support for the collaboration with Sacred Seeds. "Sacred Seeds has an exceptional international network of Sacred Seeds Sanctuaries, and together with L'Herboretum's network we will have participating gardens around the world. Both organizations feel the deep responsibility to protect the biodiversity of life, and we have pledged to share knowledge, skills, and resources to more rapidly achieve our shared missions."

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Sacred Seeds is managed at the William L. Brown Center at the Missouri Botanical Garden, one of the largest and most active botanical research institutes in the world. Visit http://www.sacredseedssanctuary.org to learn more. The William L. Brown Center of the Missouri Botanical Garden is dedicated to the study of useful plants and the relationships between humans, plants and the environment. Scientists strive to conserve plant species for the benefit of future generations.

The Missouri Botanical Garden is one of the three largest plant science programs in the world. The Garden's work focuses its work on areas that are rich in biodiversity yet threatened by habitat destruction, and operates the world's most active research and training programs in tropical botany. Garden scientists collaborate with local institutions, schools and indigenous peoples to understand plants, create awareness, offer alternatives and craft conservation strategies. The Missouri Botanical Garden is striving for a world that can sustain us without sacrificing prosperity for future generations, a world where people share a commitment to managing biological diversity for the common benefit. Learn more at http://www.mobot.org.

NOTE: Digital images available by request or via Flickr. Download media materials at http://www.mobot.org/media.

The Missouri Botanical Garden's mission is "to discover and share knowledge about plants and their environment in order to preserve and enrich life." Today, 154 years after opening, the Missouri Botanical Garden is a National Historic Landmark and a center for science, conservation, education and horticultural display.

The Missouri Botanical Garden is located at 4344 Shaw Blvd. in St. Louis, just south of I-44 at Vandeventer-Kingshighway (exit #287B). Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Closed Christmas Day. Grounds open at 7 a.m. most Wednesdays and Saturdays (exception: special admission rate events). Admission is $8; free children ages 12 and under and Garden members. St. Louis City and County residents are $4 and free most Wednesdays and Saturdays until noon (exception: special admission rate events - third weekend of May, Memorial Day 2012, Labor Day weekend and first weekend of October). Park for free on site and two blocks west at the Shaw-Vandeventer intersection. The Garden is accessible via public transportation by taking the MetroLink commuter rail line and picking up a Metro bus. For general information, log on to http://www.mobot.org or call the 24-hour recording at (314) 577-5100 or 1-800-642-8842. For membership information, visit http://www.mobot.org/membership call (314) 577-5118 during weekday business hours. For volunteer opportunities, visit http://www.mobot.org/volunteer or call (314) 577-5187. The Missouri Botanical Garden is a tobacco-free environment.

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