• Goldenseal
  • Black Cohosh
  • Laddy Slipper Orchid
  • Trillium

Williamsville, Vermont
Sanctuary Stewards: The Manitou Project staff

“The Manitou Project celebrates the sacred interdependence of humans and nature. Through experiential education and mindful land conservation, Manitou integrates spiritual and practical ecological awareness. Manitou seeks to awaken its members to new ways of being in relationship with the land, its inhabitants, each other, and the wider community.”

The Manitou Project is a nonprofit organization that was formed in 1993 by Pamela Mayer to steward and celebrate 235 of mostly forested acres of land she owned in Williamsville, Vermont. We are very happy to be new members of the Botanical Sanctuary Network.

We have an extensive trail system, maintained by volunteer members. Along the trails are many sites such as “Grandmother White Pine”, “Grandmother Black Birch”, a large labyrinth, a winding stream, a fen, and several high-energy areas dowsed out by Pamela. At the entry area, several small gardens have been started. One has examples of local woodland wildflowers and medicinals. Another is an “observation” garden that is fenced off but will not be touched, so that the changes over time can be observed without interference. Another is a seed bed, so that visitors can bring seeds down from the trails for germination and protection and later replanting. In a sunny spot, there is “gardening by focused weeding” to encourage certain self-seeding species. In 2007 we added ten species of native plants to the entranceway gardens. We also received a community grant from United Plant Savers to plant ginseng, goldenseal, bloodroot, and black cohosh on the upland wooded slopes. Growing naturally on the property are blueberry, sundew, yellow lady’s slipper, goldthread, partridgeberry, wintergreen, and other herbs yet to be discovered. Our problems with invasives are at this point minimal.

Also in keeping with its mission, Manitou creates events for the community. Examples run the gamut from seasonal celebrations, children’s Wilderness and Art camps, to plant identification and bird walks. We have had t’ai chi on the land, dowsing, sweat lodges, and blessing ceremonies. All events are open to the public.

Manitou is honored to have joined the Botanical Sanctuary network. We look forward to learning, from those of you who have walked the trail ahead of us, how to reintroduce and encourage native medicinals in the forests and in our lives. As indicated above, we are open to the public. We hope other Botanical Sanctuary members will visit us, and hope ourselves to take trips to other sanctuaries. Please visit our website at www.manitouproject.org, and visit us in person if you are in the area!

Jeanette Pfeifer, Board President, gardening cluster
Martha Rabinowitz, staff assistant

The Trillium Center and BLD FarmConneaut, OH Sanctuary Stewards: Leah Wolfe and Charles Schiavone On a ridge three miles south of Lake Erie in the quiet city of Conneaut, Ohio, there is a small family farm, BLD farm, where seeds are being sowed. They aren't just the seeds one would expect. Yes, there are carrots, tomatoes, and cabbage. But we've also planted less common things like high bush cranberries, northern pecans, and oaks that produce low acid acorns. Stranger still, you will find a three-petaled flower deep in the woods that wraps its seeds in what looks like a pat of butter. Ants carry these seeds, three times their size, and store them in their underground tunnels as food for the colony and its queen. Thus the flowers spread slowly through the woods, unlike the mayapples and partridgeberry dispersed by deer and birds. That flower is called Trillium. There are two species growing here, the common white trillium, some which may be as old as 50 years, and the rarer red trillium that was given as a gift from a friend on the Medicine Council for the Lenape Nation.Trilliums are at-risk of becoming endangered. As we work on this land, helping to restore the forests


The Wellspring Valley For Acupuncture Energetics Herbal and Biological Medicine Galleries And Botanical Sanctuary Christine Simmons    Robert Sabo Bob and I are were both delighted to become a part of the growing Network of Botanical Sanctuaries under the sponsorship of the United Plant Savers back in 2008. We feel a growing responsibility to both learn and teach more about Stewardship with Nature and what we have called “wildlife.” As stewards of the land, there are many difficult questions we continue to ask each other and ourselves about the direction(s) botanical medicine may take in the future. There are many issues for which we need to find solutions, from managing the plants as well as to how we utilize them for the healing of ourselves and our planet. uPs is addressing many of these solutions. Here at the Wellspring Valley we are glad to be a part of this dialogue and experience.


Turtle Mountain Herbs and Botanical SanctuaryRockford, TN Sanctuary Steward: Crystal Wilson Turtle Mountain Herbs began as a dream, twenty plus years ago. I was privileged to grow up in the beautiful mountains of Southwest Virginia in the shadow of Mount Rogers. My earliest memories are of being toted all over the Appalachian trail, learning the plants, trees and animals from my Dad. After finally finishing college in 1994, we struck out to find "our" land. Work brought us to Tennessee and that is where we found our little mountain. Being fresh out of school, there was no bottom land within our reach.


Oskaloosa, KS Sanctuary Stewards: Steve and Nancy Moring Vajra Herb Farm was purchased in 1996 with the intent of establishing a medicinal herb farm, research facility and retreat center. The farm consists of 45 acres of woodland, prairie savanna, stream, valley and upland areas. The firs two years were devoted to prairie reclamation by brush clearing, spring burning and reseeding with prairie grasses and forbes. 1999 saw the completion of the first year as a member of the UpS Botanical Sanctuary Network. Many projects were initiated including the continued clearing and prairie plantings, the establishment of herb gardens and woodland plots for at risk medicinal species. Research activities included soil surveys, experimentation with sustainable cultivation techniques and data collection for a wild botanical survey of the farm. Test cultivation plots were implemented for Echinaces angustifolia, St. Johnswort, Ginkgo, Goldenseal, American Ginseng, Black Cohosh and Mullein. Our new and on-going research includes cultivation of Echinacea angustifolia and E. atrorubens on amended eastern Kansa soils with minimum till and companion planting. In conjunction with this we have established a collaboration with Dr. Rudolf Bauer at the University of Deusseldorf in Germany for monitoring active constituents. Plans are in the works for spring workshops


Thornton, New Hampshire Sanctuary Stewards: Joann, Emmy, Hannah and Rick Vollmer Our twenty-acre wilderness forest land in Thornton, New Hampshire, bordering the White Mountain National Forest is mountainous land consisting of areas of both mixed hardwood and evergreen and is home to black bear, deer and moose. Plants already growing here include: sarsaparilla, goldthread, partridgeberry, pipsissewa, lady’s slipper, yellow violets and trillium. In October 6, 2001, we invited a few members of the community to join us in our first planting of native at-risk medicinals. Together we planted about 300 Goldenseal, American Ginsing, Black Cohosh, and Bloodroot. We will continue planting more of these and other at-risk medicinals each year that will provide a sanctuary for plant rescues. In order to share this experience and teaching with the community we offer herb classes at our home and at our business, Wise Way Wellness Center, where we cultivate many other medicinal plants.


Warwick, Massachusetts Sanctuary Steward: Carol Joyce & Marty Vogt My husband Marty and I have been actively involved in conservation and organic farming all of our lives. I grew up on a 100-acre pony farm in Byfield and Marty spent every summer at his grandparents’ 450-acre dairy farm in Michigan. We both have very strong beliefs in the preservation and conservation of land, living as close to the Earth as we can. We lived the past 12 years on our 12-acre mini-farm in New Salem. Since we moved there in 1988, we have been organically farming that land, quietly raising animals, plants and carefully managing our 7 acre diversified woodlot. We have just purchased 123.9 conservation restricted woodland acres in Warwick, MA. We worked together with the Mt. Grace Conservation Land Trust to craft a perpetual conservation restriction that details the future sanctuary aspects of this land. We live in the Tully River watershed area, have two streams and multiple springs on the property that flow into the Tully River. We belong to the NE Organic Farmers Association, and the NE Herbal Association, teaching others about medicinal, culinary, and endangered herb each year. We have been actively replanting our old


Franktown, Colorado Sanctuary Steward: Gary Schroeder Wild Wind Ranch is a 50-acre horse ranch located in Douglas County, CO, at the northern-most edge of the Black Forest bioregion at an elevation of approximately 6,400 feet. We purchased the land about 10 years ago, before


Richmond, VA Sanctuary Stewards: David & Lena Welker We acquired the land that was to become Wildcroft Hollow Botanical Sanctuary in June of 2004. We had both been wishing and dreaming such a place for years. I was looking for a place to take care of, a place where I could build my home for myself, and the woman I love, a place where we would belong. Lena was looking for the same things ~ a garden, a cabin, and, I think, a man who could help her build those things. Shortly after closing on the land, we were married there. Wildcroft Hollow comprises 71 acres of Appalachian cove forest on the eastern side of Buffalo Ridge in Amherst, VA. After buying the land we made a deal with each other, and with the land itself, that we would spend a year only working on smaller projects and find out what the land needed, or wanted us to do. It has turned out to be a year well spent. We have identified every plant we have come across and have made lists of all of the plant life to be found in the hollow. We have kept lists of all of


Glenmont, OH Sanctuary Steward: Dr. Bruce A. Buren Woodland Farms has been in our family since the early 1820’s. At the time of my father’s death I was a licensed professional living and working in the city. Estate matters required me to make weekly trips to the “farm”. As time passed, I began to look forward to the weekend trips and I began spending more time there. I took long walks, I listened to the silence and found it full of wonderful, delightful sounds. Ultimately, the spiritual sensibility I felt from being in intimate contact with nature caused my paved road to crack and life to pour out. I chose a lesser traveled road. Woodland Farms is the outgrowth of my re-discovery of the essential value of nature. I wanted to share with others a part of what I had found to be a part of us all. Woodland Farms’ greatest attribute is its pristine native soil. Located in the upland region of eastern Ohio on the highest mount in the area, this site is protected from the actions of others. The land has been an organic operation since the early 1820’s. There are nearly 55 acres of woodland and 25


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