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Volunteers plant native desert vegetation in an endo-botanical garden raised outside the Combat Center’s Archeology and Paleontology Curration Center March 21, 2011. The garden is filled with plants used by early Native Americans for food, dyes and medicine.::r::::n::

Photo by Lance Cpl. Sarah Anderson

Garden brings ancient history to life

25 Mar 2011 | Lance Cpl. Sarah Anderson

Members of the Combat Center’s Archeology and Paleontology Curration Center built and planted a historical garden right outside its facilities with the help of volunteers.

The endo-botanical garden is filled with plants used by early Mojave Desert-dwelling Native Americans for food, medicine and dyes.

The 70 plants in the garden have been researched and are known to serve purposes to people in the past. As study of historical Native American culture continues, more plants may be added to the garden, Chamberlain said.

“If one group used them, most likely other tribes used them as well,” said Nicholas Chamberlain, a cultural resource specialist for the Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Center. “I am still learning about their native uses.”

The garden has more than just a historical purpose. It is also designed to “open the eyes” of viewers to the true beauty of desert wildlife.

“We wanted people to see that the desert isn’t just some dirt pit,” said D’Anne Albers, a curration assistant for the NREA. “There are beautiful plants here and they had use, a lot of Native Americans are still using these plants.”

Marine and sailor volunteers lended their hands to the project.

“I just wanted to get out here and get involved,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class James Carnes, a religious program specialist with 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment. “It’s an opportunity to give something to the base community.”

Each plant is slated for detailed labeling.

The garden, funded by the National Environmental Education Foundation, is scheduled to be open to the public by Earth Day, April 22, 2011.

For more information on the new garden, contact Nick Chamberlain at 830-7650.

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