Our mission is to promote public understanding and use of native and medicinal plants of Kansas, the Midwest, Great Plains and Western United States, and to provide scientific validation of this traditional ecological knowledge.
Our Core Values
We are passionate advocates of native plants. We believe they have been significantly overlooked for their value as food, medicine, landscape and pollinator plants, among other use.
Conservation and sustainable harvest of medicinal plants
We are dedicated to the conservation of native medicinal plants and the natural habitats that support these culturally and ecologically significant species. Knowledge derived from medicinal plant research underscores the importance of habitat conservation; however, increased demand for herbal products can have negative ecological consequences if wild harvesting exceeds sustainable levels. Our research includes studies that promote both sustainable wild harvest practices and the cultivation of those medicinal plant species significantly affected by wild harvesting.
Respect for Indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants
We acknowledge that much of the understanding of medicinal plants of the Great Plains is grounded in traditional ecological knowledge of Native American elders and tribes. We seek to engage Native People in developing research questions and projects — including student and community projects — that contribute to the body of knowledge about medicinal plants and that benefit tribes, various communities and the public.
Education toward ecological responsibility
We believe that building awareness of native plants and their traditional uses helps people of all generations reconnect with their local environment, understand its inherent value and gain an ecological sense of place. We believe this sense of belonging fosters ecological responsibility and encourages joyful interaction with the natural world. Through educational presentations, prairie walks, and tours and projects at our medicinal garden, we seek to involve the public in our study of medicinal plants and to promote an ethic of conservation, land stewardship and respect for traditional ecological knowledge.