SUGi
USA

Yakama Nation, WA, USA

Healing Forest

A forest that restores the harmony to body, mind & spirit.

Miyawaki Method
Habitat
bee
Parks

Our goal is to transform a barren landscape into a thriving, lush forest at the“Yakama Nation Corrections & Rehabilitation Facility” to nourish the land and restore the lives of inhabitants.

The Healing Forest will teach the wisdom of the old ways, in which individuals live in balance with themselves, their neighbors, and the natural world. Illness happens when this harmony is broken.

This is to be a forest that restores harmony to body, mind, and spirit, and to relationships with family, community, and nature.

Forest Maker Ethan Bryson

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Yakama Nation Healing Forest sustainable project

7,500

trees

23,000

SQUARE FEET

47

native species

dirt field
This site of Healing Forest at the Yakama Nation Corrections & Rehabilitation Facility in Yakama Nation, USA.
forest with a path
The pocket forest after 2 years growth

Forest Partner

Yakima Nation Healing Forest

Forest Report: 2 Years

DATE: 26.10.2022

Survival Rate: 85%

Average of tallest 3 trees: 1006cm

Growth rate for all species in this pocket forest have more than doubled. Black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa), aspen (Populus tremuloides) and most willow species (including Salix exigua, Salix prolixa, Salix amygdaloides and Salix scouleriana) grew at exceptional pace, with some tripling in height. Tallest trees are black cottonwood at 9 to 10.5m. Tree girth doubled for most cottonwood, aspen and willow. Girth from year 1 to 2 on the largest cottonwood grew from 21 to 37 cm in diameter.

Soil health shows improvement in predatory organisms. Nematodes showing great improvement indicating soil overall soil regeneration and health improvement. Fungal content and flagellates are overall in balance in the ideal range. Fungi is very sensitive to any disturbance and weeding activity has disrupted the continuity of this progression. In the next year weeding and watering will become less necessary and the fungal activity and diversity are expected to stabilize and dominate. Ciliates which were high in April have now come down which is another good improvement. We plan to continue to add mulch to build a healthy soil structure.

The Healing Forest after 2 years growth
Black Cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa)
Tallest trees are Black Cottonwood at 9 to 10.5m

Biodiversity Notes:

Food and medicine production exceeded expectations for wild strawberries (Fragaria vesca), elderberries (Sambucus nigra), chokecherries (​​Prunus virginiana) and serviceberries (Amelanchier alnifolia). Wild rose hips are also abundant. Most of the berries have been eaten by copious bird population and unidentified mammals.

Skunks (Mephitis mephitis) have been seen near the forest and something is making pathways and living in the forest, possibly a family of raccoons. A large variety of spiders and birds (species unidentified) have been seen living in the forest, along with several families of quail.

Elderberry (sambucus)
Rose Osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea)
Wild Rose (Rosa canina)
Snowberry (Symphoricarpos)
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Forest Report: 1 Year

DATE: 26.10.2021

Survival Rate: 75-95%

Tallest Tree: 370cm

Tree height is ranging from 100cm to 370cm. In regards to girth, on average the trees are now at least three times the original girth.

“I have never observed growth like that” says Ethan “The smaller trees were only about 20 to 25cm and those trees are now 100cm.”

The girth of the Cottonwood tree (Populus deltoides) is 5 times its original size. It’s a fast growing tree, yet this is much bigger than expected. Incredible growth was observed between month 11 and 12 in particular: some of the trees grew 100cm in height within this time.

Root growth of one of the Chokecherry trees (​​Prunus virginiana) was observed by chance when a pathway was being created. Roots of approximately 100cm observed, it is rare to see the root system successfully developing like this.

The Healing Forest after 1 year growth
Ethan, SUGi Forest Maker, in 12 month forest

Biodiversity Notes:

The Camas (Camassia sp.), Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia), Chokecherry (​​Prunus virginiana) and Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus) are thriving. Medicinal plants that are key to the tribes are returning. It’s beautiful to see that the Roses are already producing rosehips, and the Chokecherries are already producing fruits.

We observed the return of native birds, such as a family of quail who considered the 6 month forest a right place to nest. The nest of a Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) has also been observed. Other species seen include: Frogs, Spiders and Ferret.

Camas (Camassia sp.)
Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus)
Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana)
Wild Roses (Rosa nutkana)

“With the right attention we can nurture a barren space to become a model of natural diversity and abundance. The way we treat the life around us is a reflection of ourselves. For the long term wellbeing of our planet and ensuring healthy communities we need to care for life in the soil, and enliven the return of nature's bounty.”

Ethan Bryson, Urban Natural Forests

Forest Report: Planting

DATE: 26.10.2020

Inmates from the the Yakama Nation Corrections and Rehabilitation Facility planting.
Marylee Smunitee Jones, Gatherer and Case Worker, helps lead the effort to plant the Healing Forest.

Forest Design

Why a Healing Forest?

Our goal is to transform a barren landscape into a thriving, lush forest at the“Yakama Nation Corrections & Rehabilitation Facility” to nourish the land and restore the lives of inhabitants.

The Healing Forest will teach the wisdom of the old ways, in which individuals live in balance with themselves, their neighbors, and the natural world. Illness happens when this harmony is broken. This is to be a forest that restores harmony to body, mind, and spirit, and to relationships with family, community, and nature.

Native Species & Traditional Medicine

We will combine the Miyawaki Method with site specific attention to the soil biota to ensure soil health and nutrient retention.

Forest matrix selection with up to 36 total species in 4 ascending layers (shrub, subtree, tree, and canopy). Some examples include once common trees and shrubs to the habitat zone for the selected site as well as Black Cottonwood, Scouler Willow, Trembling Aspen, Wild Rose, Buffalo Berry, Native Blackberries, and Huckleberry.

Medicinal herbs to be planted include: stinging nettles for pain relief; tree moss for overall health; huckleberry leaves to settle the stomach; pine needle tea for digestive health; and yarrow for wound-healing.

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