Tulalip Tribes create natural history preserve

In advance of the grand opening of the Tulalip Tribes’ Hibulb Cultural Center on Aug. 19, the Daily Herald reports on the Re-Discovery program, aimed at passing on traditional gathering methods to tribal youth, and plans to create a natural history preserve.

From the story:

TULALIP — For six years, Inez Bill has been teaching tribal youth how to harvest and process plants in traditional tribal ways.

Through teaching children the old ways of honoring, harvesting and using plants for food and medicine, the plants in turn will nourish the spirits and bodies of the Tulalip people for generations down the road, tribal leaders say.

“We consider the medicinal plants as gifts from the spirit,” said Bill, coordinator for the tribes’ Rediscovery Program.

Now the tribes have plans in the works not only to generate more places to harvest those plants but also to provide a place for the public to learn about and appreciate the reservation’s natural heritage.

They are in the beginning stages of creating a Natural History Preserve, a 42-acre area with native plants, gardens, pathways, public viewing areas along Quilceda Creek and Ebey Slough, and tribal sculptures.

The entrance will be from the new, $19 million Hibulb Cultural Center at 6410 23rd Ave. NE, the centerpiece of which is a tribal museum scheduled for an opening ceremony Aug. 19.

“We see the Natural History Preserve as an extension of the museum,” Bill said.

The Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve is located at 6410 23rd Ave. NE, west of I-5 and Marysville. It will be open to the public Tuesday through Sunday. Admission will be $10 for adults, $7 for seniors and $6 for students, military or veterans. Children under 5 and Tulalip tribal members are free.

It opens to the public Aug. 20, following a special opening for the tribe on Aug. 19.