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Program offers free seed packets to Richland County residents

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Richland County residents can get a free head start on spring gardening beginning next week.

Starting on Tuesday, visitors to Richland Library’s Eastover branch can select up to four packets of seeds per household in a program created by a partnership between Richland Soil and Water Conservation District and Dominion Energy.

The county will also use a $5,000 environmental education and stewardship grant from Dominion to establish a traveling pop-up seed sanctuary to distribute seeds at community festivals, farmers markets and other county events. Pop-up seed sanctuary appearances can be requested by contacting Mary Hannah Lindsay, RSWCD community outreach coordinator, at

“Richland Library Eastover is thrilled to partner with RSWCD and increase equitable access to resources in our community,” said Kimberly Jones, manager of Richland Library Eastover. “The seed sanctuary program will allow residents in our community to continue learning and growing in their gardens and share their love for cultivating new and exciting things with their families.”

Richland Library Eastover is located at 608 Main St. in Eastover.

RSWCD launched its seed sanctuary program in spring 2020, providing free seeds to residents to encourage home gardening and pollinator conservation. During the first 18 months of the initiative, when COVID-19 restrictions led to orders being filled via email, nearly 3,000 people received 13,000 seed packets, prepared and labeled by community volunteers.

“It is wonderful to finally have the ability to offer an in-person seed sanctuary,” Lindsay said. “My hope is that for Richland County residents this initiative helps plant the seed of passion for home gardening and environmental stewardship.”

Reach Melinda Waldrop at 803-726-7542.

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