Project Overview

Why our work and your involement matters

Restoration + Education + Community

Our Mission:

  • To educate about medicinal plants, ecological issues, and our unique local bioregion.
  • To bring the community together through common interests and goals.
  • To contribute to the restoration of medicinal plants and their habitats, especially Yerba Mansa and the Rio Grande Bosque.

Our Objectives:

  • To identify and adopt Open Space Lands within the Rio Grande Bosque that are suitable for the Yerba Mansa Project’s restoration work.
  • To develop and make available to the community new classes and educational events relating to Yerba Mansa, the Rio Grande Bosque, and ecological considerations for other medicinal plants.
  • To organize and undertake community volunteer projects in the Rio Grande Bosque including removal of non-native understory plants and reestablishing Yerba Mansa and other native plants in new areas of the Bosque.

Our Project

The Yerba Mansa Project is intended to create awareness about medicinal herbs with threatened habitats and to take restorative action. This endeavor began in late 2014 when the City of Albuquerque Open Space accepted our initial proposal to embark on the Yerba Mansa Project. See our cummulative results summary listed below or learn more about our:

Our Cumulative Results Include:

  • the establishment of a collaborative multi-generational community project that has nearly 2,000 hours of volunteer service in the Bosque during its first 6 years*
  • a dramatic reduction in the presence of invasive nonnative Ravenna Grass with over 2,000 plants removed by hand*
  • the reestablishment of Yerba Mansa and other native plants in the area through live planting
  • a resurgence of other native plants in the absence of invasive competitors
  • reseeding over 8,000 sq. ft. of native grasses and medicinal forbs to increase biodiversity and reestablish the native seed bank in the soil
  • the ongoing collection of baseline GIS data for long-term ecological monitoring
  • engaging 16 schools and over 300 students in our field programs for school classrooms*
  • adding nearly 150 species entries to our Plants of the Middle Rio Grande Bosque Field Guide project providing ethnobotanical research opportunities for schools and the creation of a free and fully searchable field guide for Bosque hikers available online and via a mobile phone app
  • ongoing educational outreach about the importance of native medicinal plants with nearly 50 free classes and events for the community
  • recipient of a 2017 grant from the Native Plant Society of New Mexico
  • publishing our project methodology in The Journal for Medicinal Plant Conservation, 2017 issue
  • recipient of the 2017 Champions of the Herbal World prize for advocacy for medicinal plants presented by Plant Healer
  • publishing an extensive Yerba Mansa monograph in the Journal of the American Herbalists Guild, 2020 spring issue
  • presenting numerous conference sessions and publishing accompanying articles on medicinal plants, environmental impacts on native plants, ecological herbalism, and related topics through Plant Healer Publications and Events
  • presenting on native medicinal shrubs at the Land and Water Summit in 2021
  • presenting our project methodology and an in-depth look at Yerba Mansa in two sessions at the International Herb Symposium in 2021

* Due to the pandemic and local public health orders, we suspended school programs, restoration field days, and in-person group events for three field seasons during 2020-2021. We continued to engage our community through free live streamed events during this time.



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