Tend and Tell: Developing and Interpreting an Ethnobotanical Garden
Last Updated: 03/01/2010
Fall, Winter and Spring quarters
Faculty: Marja Eloheimo environmental anthropology
Faculty Signature Required: To develop a strong multidisciplinary team, please submit a letter that describes your experience and passion in one or more of the following areas: interviewing, signage, library, writing, editing, photography, film, database, web page, horticulture, plant drawing, ecological fieldwork, or plant identification. Please explain why this program is a good next step in your academic path, and include any materials that illustrate the character and quality of your previous work. Experience need not be exclusively academic in nature. For more information, contact the instructor.
Major areas of study include environmental studies, horticulture, botany, Indigenous studies, cultural anthropology, communications, and writing.
Class Standing: Sophomores or above; transfer students welcome.
Accepts Winter Enrollment: Submit a letter of interest with relevant background to faculty.
Accepts Spring Enrollment: Submit a letter of interest with relevant background to faculty.
Prerequisites: Passion and demonstrated experience in one or more of the areas listed above. Please see "Faculty Signature Required."
CRN: fall: 10214 (8 cr), 10215 (12 cr); winter: 20162 (8 cr), 20163 (12 cr); spring: 30178 (8 cr), 30179 (12 cr)
Note: This 8 or 12-credit program meets from 9 a.m to noon on Wednesdays and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays. Fall quarter will be completed in 8 weeks. First class will meet in Longhouse 1002.
Working as a multidisciplinary project team, this yearlong program has a mission. Students will engage in hands-on work to transform the fledgling ethnobotanical garden at the Evergreen “House of Welcome” Longhouse by refining existing habitat areas and developing the sayuyay Sister Garden (a medicinal portion of the garden patterned after a project on the Skokomish Indian Reservation). Through this work, we will create a valuable educational resource and contribute to multiple communities including Evergreen, local K-12 schools, local First Nations, and a growing global collective of ethnobotanical gardens that promote environmental and cultural diversity and sustainability.
During fall quarter, we will become acquainted with the garden and its plants, habitats, history, and existing interpretive materials. We will carry out fieldwork, develop plant identification skills, engage in seasonal garden care, review archival materials, and meet some of the people behind the garden's inception. We will also develop specific garden and book designs and implementation plans. Students will have the opportunity to select specific projects for individual and group study.
During winter quarter, we will focus on the garden's "story" through work on signage, a book, and other interpretive materials such as a web page or film. Students will work intensively on skill development, research, and project planning or implementation in their selected areas of interest. Students will have the opportunity to learn selected new skills, refine existing skills, and teach skills to each other. We will also be active during the winter transplant season and will prepare procurement and planting plans for the spring season.
Winter also provides the opportunity to celebrate Skokomish Traditional Leader, subiyay Bruce Miller, who was the spiritual teacher associated with this garden and on whose property the original sayuyay Medicinal Plant Garden was developed. A five-year memorial will take place during February, and we will honor this special man through our work.
During spring quarter, we will plant and care for the garden, wrapping up all of the work we have begun. In May, we will attend the Society of Ethnobiology conference on Vancouver Island in British Columbia and present our accomplishments.
This program requires commitment to a meaningful real-world project and strongly encourages yearlong participation. It also cultivates community by nurturing each member's contributions and growth and acknowledges the broader contexts of sustainability and global transformation.
Basic program and project participation is offered for 8 credits. Students enrolling for 12 credits will be required to complete expanded project work.
Credits: 8 or 12 per quarter
Special Expenses: $140 for tools and supplies.
Program is preparatory for careers and future studies in environmental management, horticulture, landscape design, garden/museum interpretation, Indigenous natural and cultural resources, communications, and writing.