New Life for an Ancient Site
The 15-acre property is a complex of botanical gardens, first established in 1987. They had fallen into disrepair when the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe purchased the land, part of its ancestral lands, at auction in 2012. Though many of the original plants that comprised the gardens are lost, many important collections have been recovered, with new collections settling in.
The gardens at Heronswood originated as the personal collection of renowned world traveler and plant collector Dan Hinkley and are now under the ownership of the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe. The new Master Plan will revitalize this unique horticultural facility as a place for special events, plant sales, educational programs and tours that recognize, and are consistent with, the heritage of the gardens and the cultural values of the Tribe.
Water is a powerful connecting force and guides the Master Plan. The S’Klallam Tribe traveled throughout the Puget Sound in their strong cedar canoes, crossing from one fishing, hunting or gathering location to another as the seasons changed. During his global explorations, Dan Hinkley crossed the waters between continents to gather plants that would thrive in the Pacific Northwest climate and geography.
The master plan for the park, developed through listening sessions and participatory exercises, reflects the Tribal values of a sustainable and healthy ecosystem. It provides a welcoming space for Tribal members and visitors and helps manage the Garden as financially self-sustaining.