Restoration ~ Education ~ Community
The Yerba Mansa Project is a community service endeavor organized by Albuquerque Herbalism in partnership with the City of Albuquerque Open Space.
Our work is undertaken with financial support from the Native Plant Society of New Mexico, Plant Healer, and individual donors.
- 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.
- 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.
The Project So Far…
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. Over the winter of 2014-15 many site visits were conducted throughout the Middle Rio Grande Valley to evaluate the remaining stands of Yerba Mansa, to observe the plant’s habitat requirements, and to identify all areas suitable for restoration within the Albuquerque area. In the spring of 2015 we began restoration work at our selected adoption site along Tingley Drive, south of Central. In its first year, the program collected GPS data for over 1,000 individual invasive non-native Ravenna Grass plants, removed hundreds of them, prevented many hundreds more from reseeding, and also reintroduced Yerba Mansa by replanting two new colonies. Additionally the project provided many hours of free and low cost educational programs for kids and adults on the ecological importance of native plant habitats in our area. The second year of the project focused on caring for and maintaining last year’s replantings, continuing with the Ravenna Grass removal, and reseeding the area with native grasses and herbs. More events are coming in 2017 (see Yerba Mansa Project Events). Stay tuned as the Yerba Mansa Project continues to unfold. SIGN UP HERE FOR SEMI-ANNUAL EMAIL UPDATES ON THE PROJECT.
Our Cumulative Results Include:
- a dramatic reduction in the presence of non-native Ravenna Grass
- the reestablishment of Yerba Mansa in the area through live planting
- a resurgence of other native plants in the absence of invasive competitors
- reseeding native grasses and medicinal forbs to increase biodiversity
- the collection of baseline GIS data for long-term ecological monitoring
- the establishment of a collaborative community project that has over 700 hours of volunteer service in the Bosque during its first 2 years
- launching the youth-created Plants of the Middle Rio Grande Bosque Field Guide project to provide ethnobotanical research opportunities for kids 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 robust native plant populations for healthy habitat
- recipient of a 2017 grant from the Native Plant Society of New Mexico
- recipient of the 2017 Champions of the Herbal World prize for activism and advocacy for medicinal plants presented by Plant Healer
Thank You To The Yerba Mansa Project’s Many Supportive Partnering Organizations & Individuals:
April Rivera of Skin Bliss Spa/Salon
Angie True of The Calyx Pearl Center
DeAnn Payne of Payneless Photography
Melissa Johns of Casita de Corrales
Rio Grande Roots & Shoots
and the many individual members of our Bosque Restoration Field Crews