Sacred Seeds Virtual Education Portal
Part of the Sacred Seeds Ethnobotanical Trail Project

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Origin of the Sacred Seeds Trail

The Sacred Seeds Ethnobotanical Trail is part of an international network of gardens co-created by Tom Newmark (New Chapter Herbs) and Rafael Ocampo (Costa Rican plant scholar) to address the rapid loss of biodiversity and plant cultural knowledge. Their vision was to build collaborative gardens all over the world that act as “living libraries” and seed banks for local ethnomedicine plants—bringing together botanists, indigenous peoples, herbalists and schools. The Sacred Seeds project is now a part of United Plant Savers

Bastyr was one of the first to become a sanctuary site beyond Costa Rica in 2011. The ¾-mile-long Sacred Seeds Trail at our Kenmore campus encompasses three Salish Sea bioregions (camas prairie, lowland forest and wetlands/bog) and both preserves and educates about plants native to the Salish Sea. It also includes the Greenhouse completed in June 2017—funded in part by local tribal nations with the intent of the space being available for their own Tribal or public workshops. Our Trail is located on Duwamish, Snohomish and Muckleshoot territories.

Educational Opportunities

Bastyr’s garden team offers community education on the Sacred Seeds Trail through ethnobotanical field trips for K-12 students. We work closely with the Tend, Gather & Grow team at GRuB to teach their unique curriculum—designed by a team of indigenous and settler-descendent plant scholars to revitalize wild edible and medicinal plant knowledge for Native and regional communities.

Thanks to generous grant funding, Bastyr is able to offer educational opportunities free of charge for students at Tribal and Title I schools.

Virtual Offerings:

Due to COVID-19, we are unable to offer in-person field trips for the foreseeable future. We believe a connection to land is essential to personal, community and global healing, so we are working hard to make our hands-on curriculum available to students at this time.

Field Trips: We are offering a limited number of virtual field trips for Tribal, Title I and K-12 schools. Please email EWilson@bastyr.edu or gardens@bastyr.edu to learn more about our offerings and to schedule.

Free Offerings: Please enjoy our free library of digital offerings to integrate into your classrooms or home schooling.

FREE ‘Ethnobotany Adventures’ Written Curriculum (click here) Here you can find free "Ethnobotany Adventures” for your students, including classroom activities, writing prompts, and more! The curriculum can be adjusted for a wide range of age groups from K-12.

FREE Ethnobotany Video Offerings (click here) Visit our YouTube page for educational videos surrounding the Sacred Seeds Trail. Topics include ecosystems, plant profiles, seed saving, ethnobotany, reciprocity and more. 

Resources

Land Map: Use this digital map as a guide for Territory Acknowledgment, and to foster conversation about the history of colonialism and Indigenous ways of knowing. This map is a project by Native Land Digital, a Canadian, indigenous non-profit. 

Land Acknowledgement: After using the map above to find traditional stewards of the land, students and teachers can offer respect for these stewards with a land acknowledgment. This is not a replacement for action, but is an important start toward growing a reciprocal relationship with the land we are on and those who have stewarded it since time immemorial. Check out these acknowledgements from the Duwamish Tribe and Puyallup Tribe.

Lushootseed/Twulshootseed Language: In honoring the original stewards of the land, raising up the original language of the land we’re on is just as important to coming into right relationship with the medicine and stories of the plants. Lushootseed and Twulshootseed are the primary Coast Salish languages of the land here at Bastyr. Learn more about Lushootseed through the Tulalip Lushootseed Department, and about Twulshootseed through the Puyallup Tribal Language Department.  

Real Rent Duwamish: The Duwamish Tribe, traditional stewards of this land and much of the Seattle area, are still not federally or locally recognized as a Tribal Nation. Learn more by watching the documentary film ‘Promised Land’. One way to support is to make a monthly financial contribution to the Duwamish Tribe. Visit Real Rent Duwamish to learn more. 

We are honored for the council of our Advisory Committee in steering the Sacred Seeds Project at Bastyr. Our current Advisory Committee includes Michael Evans (Snohomish), Sheila McCoy Hillaire (Tulalip) and Valerie Segrest (Muckleshoot). Please direct any questions about the Sacred Seeds Advisory Committee to gardens@bastyr.edu.