Mid-Atlantic Regional Seed Bank
Greenbelt Native Plant Center
3808 Victory Blvd.
Staten Island, NY 10314
Edward Toth, Director, initiated the GNPC in 1994 and has been the full-time director since 1998. The 13-acre nursery, greenhouse, plant material development and seed bank facility is owned and operated by the City of New York, Department of Parks. The GNPC, through its many partnerships- local to global-, works towards the conservation of the region’s native flora. In 2012 he initiated MARSB, as a regional partner of the national SOS program.
Molly Marquand, Projects’ Communications Manager, holds a B.A in Ecology from Bates College and a Master’s of Science from the University of Reading and the Royal Botanic Garden at Kew in Plant Taxonomy. Prior to joining MARSB as the projects’ communication manager, she worked at the New England Wildflower Society and coordinated the DEC funded Catskills Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management program. She also coordinated MARSB’s Ash Collection Program from 2015 through 2016, organizing a force of volunteers and making collections of this threatened tree across New York State.
Heather Liljengren, Supervising Seed Collector/Field Taxonomist, has been a seed collector in the Mid-Atlantic region since 2008. She actively manages the seed collection program and seed bank at GNPC of the City of New York, Department of Parks. Following international collection protocols she has contributed accessions to the Millennium Seed Bank Project and the national SOS program.
Ian Laih, Seed Collector, is an alumni of the State University of New York: College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Class of 2018. There he pursued a B.S. of Environmental Biology with a focus in Botany. Before his time with MARSB he has worked with the New York Natural Heritage Program as a Student Botanical Assistant in 2018 and the U.S. Forest Service as a Field Technician in 2016 and 2017. Ian’s main focus for the 2019 growing season will be scouting and developing a team of volunteers to collect target Viburnum spp. in the fall.
Phil Harris, Seed Collector, began his career as a science teacher on the Qualla Boundary in the mountains of southern Appalachia, where he became very interested in the ecological and cultural importance of native plants. After moving to Brooklyn, Phil taught science at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden for 5 years before becoming a plant propagation intern at the Garden and completing BBG’s Certificate in Horticulture. Ready to start doing hands-on work with native plants and ecological restoration, he began working at the Greenbelt Native Plants Center as a plant production gardener and seed collector, collecting seeds throughout New Jersey and southeastern New York.