Chumash Foundation Grant To Growing Solutions Helps Keep Vital Traditions Alive

The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Foundation recently donated funds to Growing Solutions earmarked to help preserve bio and cultural diversity. The Chumash are renowned for their fine hand-woven basketry made from California coastal grasses such as skunkbush (Rhus trilobata) and basket rush (Juncus textilis).  They produced a wide variety of baskets, jugs, and platters that were vital to everyday village life for collecting and storing food as well as ceremonial purposes. Some baskets were so tightly woven they were used to hold water and even cook food. Modern-day traditional basket making is being furthered among the Chumash youth through ongoing classes and mentoring. However, finding suitable pollution-free plant grasses becomes an increasing challenge as urbanization and wetland destruction reduce available collection sites. Growing Solutions specializes in growing several wetland species suitable for traditional basketry and proposes increasing and enhancing public collection sites for ongoing sustainable harvest. With this funding Growing Solutions will grow and plant basket grasses with help from tribal volunteers. A special thank you to the Foundation for helping us make this happen!