This past National Herb Day, Meadowsweet Herbs, in partnership with United Plant Savers, created four demonstration medicinal herb gardens in Missoula, Montana. Located between the herb store and a popular bakery, each garden contains healing plants for a specific body system including the immune, digestive, nervous and integumentary systems. The location is right across the river from downtown Missoula in an area known as the “Hip Strip”. In the summer time, people can eat their muffin or drink their coffee while enjoying these beautiful and educational gardens.
The gardens were designed and planted by second year herb students of the Herbal Foundations ROOT Program run by Meadowsweet Herbs. The students gained valuable knowledge about gardening, learned the basics of garden design, learned how to cultivate and grow medicinal plants and researched herbs that are healing for the different body systems.
Members of the community can have a self-guided tour of the gardens by reading the signs throughout the garden that identify each body system represented. Signs also identify each plant species, their common and botanical name, as well as several of the herb’s medicinal actions.
Some of the herbs in the garden include Glycyrrhiza glabra, Astragalus membranaceus, Lomatium dissectum, Mahonia repens, Rosa woodsii, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea angustifolia, Anaphalis margaritacea, Valeriana officinalis, Calendula officinalis, Lavandula angustifolia, Althea officinalis, and Stachys officinalis.
We at Meadowsweet Herbs feel that these gardens enrich our community by their educational use, as well as adding beauty and a sense of pride to downtown Missoula. We are very excited to add such a valuable and educational resource to the Missoula community, and we look forward to giving many an herb class at the gardens! Many thanks to United Plant Savers for their immensely important work on protecting medicinal plant species, as well as for partnering with Meadowsweet Herbs on this community project.
Highbridge Medicinal Trail
by Brian Schwartz
For the past year and a half I have been working for the New York Restoration Project. NYRP is a dynamic organization committed to restoring green space throughout New York City. While at NYRP I became acquainted with Highbridge Park.
Highbridge is a wild gem. There it is possible to slip in the woods and see no manmade structures (while remaining in Manhattan!).
If you walk the trails in Highbridge, there is a chance you will see a staff member from NYRP’s education department leading a school group on a hike. I am glad to say that due to a grant from United Plant Savers the education department can now more easily incorporate teachings about medicinal plants into their hikes because the trail is now planted with native at-risk medicinals.
I firmly believe that medicinal plants are unique and powerful teachers that have the power to awaken spirit in people. I am very grateful for the opportunity to be involved in sharing their magic.
To learn more about the Highbridge Medicinal Trail please visit medicinaltrailsnyc.wordpress.org
Here is a wonderful video of the project: