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Community Seed Grants

Who is eligible  

Community Seed Grants (CSG) are available once every year for school gardens and community organizations with regional and cultural connection to the NS/S seed collection. They are offered to garden projects working toward collective food security, seed sovereignty, traditional knowledge, education, and other efforts of community wellness. We do not require CSG recipients to save and return seeds, but encourage those who are able to do so, to provide seeds for their community.

Our region of focus is the Southwest, which generally includes: Arizona, New Mexico, southern Utah, southern Colorado, western Oklahoma, western Texas, southern California, southern Nevada, and northwest Mexico. Native communities in arid places outside of this region may also apply.

We strive to support projects in Mexico. Due to mailing restrictions it is best if you have someone in the US who can receive and bring the seeds to Mexico.   

Seed Libraries are eligible to receive one pre-selected variety each year. More information about seed library grants can be found here


How to select seeds  

Native-serving organizations may select seeds from the Native Access page.

All organizations may select seeds from the Buy Seeds page  

  • Choose up to 30 packets and up to 3 packets of a single variety.    
  • Include the code, variety name, and quantity. For example, "PT079 - Blue Speckled Tepary - 2
  • Applications without the code, variety, and quantity will be asked to re-apply.  
  • As our primary focus is on food access, seed request lists must include mostly food plant seeds rather than wildflowers, which can be found here. Only wildflowers with codes beginning in WF are included. 

If your garden is located in the low desert (below 3,500'), refer to our low desert planting guide for information on what to plant and when. For gardens in the high desert (over 3,500'), refer to the high desert planting guide

Note: Most organizations only need 5 to 20 packets. Please reflect on the size of your growing space and your ability to tend to and harvest these crops. On average, one packet is appropriate for 50-100 square feet of growing space. We encourage applying each year over requesting more seeds than you have capacity to grow.  


How to apply  

Apply online here.  
Download PDF, print and mail here.  
Download Spanish version PDF, print and mail in here.

Applicants will receive notice whether they are accepted or not within 2 weeks of applying. 



What we ask of you  

  • In return for the CSG, we ask that you provide a brief report here with photos at the end of your growing season and before you apply for another grant. Excerpts from these reports may be used in NS/S media to highlight the impact of your efforts to grow regionally and culturally significant seeds.
  • Seeds you receive will not be sold or utilized for commercial breeding purposes.
  • We do not require you to return seeds, but if possible, we encourage you to give any seeds you're able to save to your community. 


Questions about applying? Email or call (520) 622-0830 x100.

For examples of eligible garden projects, check out the 2021 grant recipients here.