Wisdom of the Elders Garden

wisdom of the elders volunteers

SPACE Grant 2012 $1,490

Food is the at the heart of social gatherings found around the world. So naturally, when Rose High Bear, Executive Director of the Wisdom of the Elders wanted to provide a gathering spot to educate and heal Portland’s tribal community, the idea of an edible garden was born.

In Spring of 2012, on a small plot of land at the base of Kelly Butte in East Portland, invasive species were ripped out, soil was tested and amended, and plants native to the Pacific Northwest were sowed at the new Wisdom Garden. As a demonstration garden, High Bear would like the the Native community to come “get their hands dirty and reconnect with the earth.”

Over 100 different native species were planted by a team of volunteers, including PSU students, AmeriCorps participants, and others. Many have visited the gardens during open houses and the 2012 growing season ended with an Elderberry syrup celebration, where elders teach the recipe and share stories with a new generation. With plans to expand the garden further, Rose High Bear hopes the connections to the earth will be regenerated and traditions passed on.

For more information: wisdomoftheelders.org