Experience the Bastyr Gardens
The Bastyr University Medicinal Herb Garden plays a central role in the education of our students. Botanical medicine students study and cultivate a variety of medicinal plants throughout their life cycle. Many of these plants are harvested at their seasonal peak for creating medicinal tinctures and salves. Nutrition classes use the cultivated culinary herbs and organic vegetables in the University's whole-food kitchen lab.
The garden is designed, cultivated and managed by students and volunteers under the guidance of the garden manager and assistant garden manager with a combined total over 30 years of experience.
Tour the Sacred Seeds Ethnobotanical Trail
In spring 2012, Bastyr University began developing the Sacred Seeds Ethnobotanical Trail, part of an international project that aims to help communities stay connected to native plants. The living “classroom” will be used to teach visitors about identification, seed saving and cultivation of native plants. It also will preserve ethnobotanical knowledge of how they have been used in the past for food, medicine and ceremonies.
The mile-long trail connects a series of native plant meadows and gardens to the nearby forest and wetland, advancing the University’s landscape as an educational resource for the entire community, including:
- Local native tribes of the Peoples of Cascadia
- K-12 faculty and students
- Horticultural societies
- Bicycle associations
- Other colleges and university student populations
- Garden clubs
- All Bastyr University visiting neighbors and friends
Make a donation that will help us finish building and maintain the trail.
To learn more, read our article “Bastyr Unveils ‘Seed Sanctuary’ and Native-Plant Trail Walk.”
Walk Bastyr's Reflexology Foot Path
Adjacent to the garden is the Bastyr reflexology path, the first public reflexology path in North America. Based on wisdom from ancient Egypt, India and China, reflexology paths massage and stimulate acupressure points in the soles of the feet connected to various energy meridians of the body.
The pressure of stones under bare feet combines with gravity to provide a therapeutic exercise that stimulates health. Bastyr's 65-foot path features smooth native Northwest river rock artistically embedded in cement. A handrail provides stability and improves accessibility, particularly for older walkers.
Explore Our Gardens With the Help of a Guide
One-hour tours led by knowledgeable guides are also available for groups, with a focus either on the campus, the medicinal herb garden, the Sacred Seeds Ethnobotanical Trail, or a combination. Please be aware that tours involve a significant amount of walking.
Tour Details and Sign-up Information
- Tours are scheduled Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., from spring to fall and are based on availability of a guide. Tours are not available during holidays.
- A tour donation of $10 per person is suggested, payable in cash or check and made out to Bastyr University. Tour donations support garden improvements and upkeep.
- Tours should be scheduled at least one month in advance.
- Minimum number of guided tour guests is 10, maximum is 25.
- Visitor parking is available by visitor's permit; carpooling is advised. Buses and large vans require special parking arrangements.
- For more information, call (425) 602-3435.
Take a Self-Guided Garden Tour
Many public visitors enjoy the Bastyr Medicinal Herb Garden and the Sacred Seeds Ethnobotanical Trail, and both are always open to the public for self-guided tours.
In the herb garden, which is one of the main reasons some Bastyr students say they chose to study at Bastyr, you are welcome to view over 350 western and Chinese herbs. Please note: Some medicinal plants can be toxic, so we ask that you not touch or taste anything in the medicinal garden. Please respect these garden specimens, and keep children and pets from touching, tasting or disturbing the plants.
Bastyr students also have a special relationship with the Sacred Seeds Ethnobotanical Trail, which offers opportunities to learn about native plants and how they have been used throughout history.
Feel free to visit, browse and explore the Bastyr gardens on your own any time.