Medicinal Plant Conservation
Certificate Program


We are currently accepting applications for the 2023 Summer Program!

The 2023 MPCCP cohort will participate in a four-week program onsite at the United Plant Savers Botanical Sanctuary in Rutland, Ohio.

  • The program dates are June 19, 2022 to July 14, 2022. (Participants could arrive as early as Friday June 16, 2022.) This will be the only program session offered for 2023.
  • The fee for the four-week program is $600.00, with a $50 non-refundable deposit required upon acceptance into the program. The remaining balance of $550 is due two weeks prior to the start of the session (June 5, 2022). We currently do not offer any discounts or scholarships for this program.
  • Aside from lodging and classes, participants will be responsible for all personal expenses including transportation and food.
  • The typical group size is six participants.
  • Applicants must be at least 18 years of age.
  • We will begin scheduling interviews around the end of 2022/ early 2023. We will accept applications until all slots are filled. Any applications received after slots are filled will be considered for the following program year.
  • We are located in a rural area, having your own form of transportation is very beneficial, but not required. If you do not have personal transportation, public transportation can be taken to Athens, Ohio and we can make arrangements to pick you up there.

We truly believe that the MPCCP is one of the most critical and important programs we offer. We are so thrilled to have interns on the land again! If you have been looking for an opportunity to tap out of the busy day-to-day and tune in with Mother Nature, then this is the program for you. Don’t delay- apply today!

medicinal-plant-conservation-certificate-programHard Working? Motivated to learn about medicinal plants? Want an opportunity to live and work on United Plant Savers’ Botanical Sanctuary in Ohio?

Participants in the program will work and take classes for approximately 30 hours per week with the remainder of their time left for independent pursuits. Typically this free time would include exploring the 379-acre sanctuary, spending time with the plants, making medicine, and engaging with the surrounding community. The program is organized under the supervision of UpS staff Chip Carroll, Katey Patterson, and Susan Leopold. Community teachers Paul Strauss, Lonnie Galt-Theis, Tanner Filyaw, Caty Crabb, Keely Lechler, and more help to make this program a vibrant learning experience.

Participants will be doing medicinal plant conservation and cultivation work, building and maintaining trails, maintaining and improving the Sanctuary landscape, assisting in developing signage and interpretive materials, all while immersed in the biodiverse landscape of the UpS Botanical Sanctuary. In addition to identifying and learning about the medicinal plants that live here at the Sanctuary, interns will take classes on medicine making, conservation, non-timber forest products, and more.

Much of the work is physically strenuous and participants will be expected to be self-motivated. During the program, folks will live on the Sanctuary property in various structures with a shared shower room and composting toilets. Many interns choose to camp for part or all of their time here. A shared kitchen, eating, and common space for interns are housed in the sanctuary Yurt. Although not required, we encourage the group to cook & share meals together.

Please note that this program is cohort-style and requires much teamwork. Due to the nature of this, we believe that solid, effective communication is very important to make this program run smoothly. Interns will be living in a community and sharing living spaces. We want everyone to feel safe and comfortable. We ask that all applicants please keep an open mind and heart.

This is a unique opportunity for intensive learning and the program generally fills up quickly.
Applications are being accepted now for the Summer 2023 session. For questions email Katey at

Program Details

Classes with guest teachers may include, but are not limited to, Plant Propagation and Cultivation, Trail Building, Prairie Management, Riparian Ecology, Wild Edibles, Medicinal Mushrooms, Materia Medica, Advanced Medicine Making, Historical and Practical Philosophies of Herbalism, and Aromatherapy.

At least one field trip usually occurs during each session to a place of regional botanical and/or geophysical significance (Hocking Hills, Adams County Cedar Barrens, Serpent Mounds, etc). Shorter excursions may be made to local preserves or sanctuaries to assist with caretaking projects while honing plant identification and landscape interpretation skills. Educational outreach opportunities include the Athens Farmers Market and Sanctuary events.

Required Equipment:

  • Flashlight/headlamp
  • Work boots or hiking boots
  • Rain gear
  • Clothing appropriate to the season (sun hat, sun shirt, etc)
  • Field notebook
  • Medicine making supplies (optional)
  • Water Bottle

Optional Equipment:

  • Hand lens
  • Binoculars
  • Camping gear
  • Journal
  • Bug spray/ Picaridin treated clothing
  • Art materials, camera
  • Musical instrument
  • Hand pruners
  • Soil knife or trowel

Recommended Texts:

  • Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide, Laurence Newcomb
  • Botany in a Day, Thomas J. Elpel

Core Teachers

Chip Carroll has been involved with agroforestry and non-timber forest product work for the last 20 years. He began his career working with Rural Action’s Sustainable Forestry Program where he worked closely with producers growing medicinal herbs in their woodlands and helped to form the Roots of Appalachia Growers Association. Chip was the assistant farm manager for Frontier Natural Products’ National Center for the Preservation of Medicinal Herbs where he helped manage research projects and oversaw their internship program. He is currently the sanctuary steward for United Plant Savers 379 acre Botanical Sanctuary in Rutland, OH. In 2016 Chip was hired as the manager of Ohio operations for American Ginseng Pharm, an agroforestry enterprise with operations in New York and Ohio. For over 16 years Chip has been growing wild-simulated American Ginseng on his farm in Southern Ohio.

Lonnie Galt-Theis was born and raised in Athens Ohio, spending much of her time outdoors, she began learning about, and connecting with plants at a young age. These experiences inspired her to pursue careers in herbalism, yoga, and environmental education. She has a degree in Anthropology with a focus on the environment, sustainability, and conservation from CU Boulder. Since 2013 Lonnie has been living and working on Equinox farm, with her main role being medicine maker and business manager for Equinox Botanicals, a local herbal medicine company. Her passion for herbalism has led her to study and take classes with many teachers and in 2016 she completed the fundamentals program at the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism. During the summer she runs an outdoor nature and arts camp for children.

Tanner Filyaw graduated from Ohio University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Geography, and a minor specializing in Environmental and Plant Biology. From 2005 to 2008 Tanner worked as an AmeriCorps VISTA with Rural Action’s Sustainable Forestry Program conducting landowner education and outreach around sustainable forestry, land stewardship, and the production of Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP’s). In March of 2008, he accepted a staff position as Rural Action’s NTFP Specialist and continues to act as the organization’s NTFP Program Manager. He regularly conducts workshops, presentations, and other educational programs for Ohio landowners to help them develop sustainable income strategies from forested lands. Starting in 2012, Tanner began working with United Plant Savers as a guest speaker for the Medicinal Plant Conservation Certificate program and then became a seasonal staff member with the program in 2017. In August of 2017, Tanner earned a Master of Science in Environmental Studies from Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs for his research examining mycorrhizal symbiosis in wild-simulated ginseng roots, and the effect of mycorrhizal colonization on root ginsenoside concentrations. In his spare time, Tanner experiments with producing forest-grown mushrooms, maple syrup, American ginseng, and a variety of other edible and medicinal forest plants on his property.

Caty Crabb is a Clinical Herbalist with a practice inspired by a lifelong love of plants, a deep interest in the human body and a desire to help people to feel more capable and empowered. She is interested in community health and practices a western constitutional form of herbal medicine with a harm reduction approach. Her formal study of herbal medicine began at the Pacific School of Herbal Medicine in California in 1994. Caty became certified as a Clinical Herbalist in 2004, from the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine with Michael Moore, and has had her own clinical practice since 2005. Additional studies include classes at the Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine, the California School of Traditional Hispanic Herbalism, and the San Francisco Botanical Medicine Clinic. She teaches advanced medicine making.

Paul Strauss, an herbalist, organic farmer and founder of Equinox Botanicals, has dedicated his life to preserving the rich biodiversity of Southeast Ohio, passing on what he calls “the green spark.” (ADD) He teaches medicine making, organic farming and farm systems, land reclamation and improvement, and much, much more.