Native American Plant Uses                                                  

Date/Time: Saturday, March 23, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Meet at: Big Morongo Canyon Preserve
Fee: $50 members $60 non members
Instructor: Daniel McCarthy, M.S., Anthropology
Hike Level: Easy

Discover the abundant uses of native desert plants during this one-day field class. Daniel McCarthy, edible plants expert, will teach participants about the plants historically harvested by the native peoples of Southern California for food, medicine, and utilitarian purposes. The program will start in the classroom with an overview of local Native American tribes and how culture defines plant use or the other way around. Attendees will also learn about plant communities, habitat, and distribution, focusing on the ethnobotany of key species found in the Mojave and Colorado Deserts. In the afternoon, the class will follow the trails for a hike to identify edible plants found in the Preserve area. No plants will be harvested in the Big Morongo Canyon Preserve. Respectful gathering practices will be discussed as well as restrictions collecting on federal lands and in the National Park.

Click to download Native American Plant Uses Outline – Spg2014

If you are a member of JTNPA/PINE you will get a $10 discount off every Desert Institute class. If you are not a member you can become one here.

Please take the time to review our General Class Information and Fitness Levels before registering.


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