“Nurturing Your Botanical Sanctuary”
to be held at the Goldenseal Sanctuary October 1st and 2nd, 2015

By Alison Ormsby and Susan Leopold.

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What is Sacred about Medicinal Plant Conservation? For centuries, traditional healers have used medicinal plants.  In addition, it is recognized that custodians of sacred groves/natural sites hold knowledge about the botanical resources of these areas.  Many sacred sites contain medicinal plants not found elsewhere.  In order for these important plants to survive for future generations, it is critical that they are conserved now.  This could be through on-site (in situ) conservation, or off-site (ex situ) cultivation at botanical gardens or home gardens.  It is critical that the keepers of the medicinal plant knowledge are respected and that as plants are harvested, it is done in a sustainable manner, with permission of landowners.

To preserve biodiversity and plant knowledge, the Sacred Seeds Sanctuary network was formed.  This network provides support for the conservation of these sanctuaries or gardens, through publicity, natural resource management advice, and training opportunities. 

United Plant Savers' Goldenseal Sanctuary is a member of the Sacred Seeds Network, an international network of community inspired sacred gardens. In 2014 United Plant Savers and Sacred Seeds joined forces. Through the generous support of New Chapter we are thrilled to be offering the workshop for both those in the Sacred Seeds Network and the United Plant Savers Botanical Sanctuary Network. We are offering this two-day workshop to those who are current BSN members and Sacred Seed Garden members. If you are not a member of the BSN network but have been thinking about joining you can attend the workshop for the cost of $150.00 and then if you decide to become a sanctuary member your $100.00 application fee will be waived. We have made this event extremely affordable so that anyone who wishes to attend can join the workshop.


IMG 4546 “Nurturing Your Botanical Sanctuary”

October 1st and 2nd, 2015
Goldenseal Botanical Sanctuary in Rutland, Ohio, USA

Register Here

This workshop is an opportunity for those who are part of the Botanical Sanctuary Network and the Sacred Seeds Network to gather to learn important ETHNOBOTANICAL skills, to share stories, and to strengthen ties. Your botanical sanctuary can play a critical role in the conservation of endangered medicinal plants.

Two-day workshop intensive will cover the following topics

  • Knowing and documenting: Botany basics, data collection, how to make Herbarium specimens, bio blitzing, botanical illustration
  • Management and stewardship: Know your land, mapping geology, soil, plant communities, and making a plan to address invasive plants
  • Education and outreach: Trails, signage, outreach/ social media and how to use the at-risk assessment tool
  • Plant medicine conservation: Conservation, creating your own collection, cultivation, the history and science of herbal extraction and medicinal plant ethics

IMG 0680Teachers

  • Marc Williams: Ethnobotanist and Executive Director of Plant Healers International, www.plantsandhealers.org
  • Susan Leopold: Executive Director United Plant Savers and Director of the Sacred Seeds Sanctuary
  • Alison Ormsby: Environmental educator and sacred natural sites specialist
  • Chip Carroll: Stewardship manager of the Goldenseal Sanctuary
  • Nathan Wright and Monica Cady:  Co-founders of Herbal Lodge, www.herballodge.com
  • Rebecca Wood: Herbalist, yoga instructor and founder of Hopewood Holistic Heath, www.hopewoodholistichealth.com
  • Lee Ann Woolery: Community Arts Specialist at University of Missouri Extension and Expedition Leader at EcoArt Expeditions
  • More teachers, class details and program schedule will be listed soon!

If you are interested in reading more about medicinal plants and sacred groves, see:

Leopold, Susan. (2012). Sacred Groves…Activism and Conservation of Healing Plants, Plant Healers, Spring 2012. 

Ormsby, Alison A. and Bhagwat, Shonil A. (2010). Sacred forests of India: a strong tradition of community-based natural resource management. Environmental Conservation, 37(3): 320–326.

In the future we hope to offer similar workshops in Costa Rica, Ethiopia, India, and Ghana, as a way to regionally connect with the growing international network of sacred seed sanctuaries.  For more information, contact Alison Ormsby, consultant ([email protected]), or Susan Leopold, Executive Director, United Plant Savers & Director of the Sacred Seeds Sanctuary ([email protected]).