SUGi
USA

Yakama Nation, USA

TU’PAXIN

An inspirational & educational forest.

Land Forest
Miyawaki Method
Habitat

This forest is named after Debra, a member of the Yakama Nation in central Washington State. Debra grew up going to the mountains every weekend with her family to camp, hike, fish, gather, and hunt.

Her Indian name is Tu’paxin, she is named after her great grandmother, who was a strong & protective figure for the Tribe.

Tu’paxin will be an inspirational & educational forest for the Yakama Community in the shape of a medicinal wheel.

Forest Maker Ethan Bryson

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Healing forest in Yakima Nation

1,400

Trees

400

Square Meters

42

native Species

“Tu’paxin will be a place where we educate our children about traditional foods and medicines, and our connections to the natural world. Designed as a medicine wheel with the children at the center, it will be an ideal classroom for young minds. I dream of also hosting a Master Gardeners class at my site in the future.”

Debra, member of the Yakama Nation

white lines drawn in the dirt with a house in the background
White lines drawn on the ground form the shape of a medicinal wheel. These lines indicate the 400 square meters that will become an educational forest for the Yakama Community.
person stands in front of a tall green forest
The Miyawaki forest at Tu'paxin after 24 months of growth.  Aspen trees are growing as high as 21 feet, and rosehips are already being picked by the local community and prepared for use by elders. 

Traditional Medicine

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.

Tu Paxin Medicine planting wheel
(Clockwise from top left):  Debra Byrd stands next to a nearly 2 year old Aspen tree in the Tu'paxin forest.  Rose hip (Rosa canina), rose (Rosa), and elderberry (Sambucus) thrive in the Miyawaki forest at Tu'paxin.

Yakama Nation

The Yakama Nation is located in the central part of Washington State. The Nation is approximately 1.2 million acres. Of the 573 Federally recognized Tribes in the United States, they are one of the only Tribes to have the majority of the Nation closed off to the public.

The forested area is located within the Cascade mountain range.

Yakima Nation indigenous people
Yakima Nation and biodiversity

The Benefits

Planting a forest at Tu’paxin will help:

  • preserve native species

  • provide wildlife habitat for bird & butterfly migration

  • as an educational and inspirational gathering for the community

  • provide medicinal herbs
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Soil Report

On September 22, 2019 we sent soil samples to Earthfort lab in Oregon.

The results concluded that the soil is significantly lacking diversity and balance of required bacteria and fungi needed to support a healthy forest ecosystem. Our strategy will be to create a specific compost tea to increase the beneficial bacteria and fungi to the appropriate ratios and quantities.

Six months after planting we will take another sample to see how the soil biology is progressing.

Yakima Nation nature restoration
forest seen from above
The Miyawaki forest at Tu'paxin, as seen from above.

"Creating a forest is not done alone. We’re grateful to the Yakama community."

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