Healing Garden Project

As a preservation organization it is Historic Seattle’s responsibility to bring awareness to the deepest and richest natural history of the Puget Sound area by highlighting the historic yet ongoing relationship between native plants and the First People.

Dearborn House Healing Garden Project

Project Mission

Historic Seattle is striving to create a space for community to connect with nature and learn about plants, as well as appreciate the First People and their descendants who understand and connect with these plants through medicine, storytelling, food, and much more.

Healing Garden Renovation

At Historic Seattle, our focus is often on buildings and the stories that echo through them. But let us not forget about the stories that the land around each building tells. As a preservation organization, we have neglected to extend our mission of saving meaningful places that foster lively communities to Indigenous communities. This project is an initial step in honoring the culture of the Coast Salish peoples and shining a light on their contributions to the lively communities of the past, the present, and the future.

We are excited to partner with Tahoma Peaks Solutions’ Valerie Segrest to provide a more complete and transparent historic narrative of the land of the Coast Salish peoples upon which the Dearborn House was built in 1907. Through the use of plants and interpretative signage, the Healing Garden will help to teach visitors about the land’s original stewards’ history of medicine, cuisine, and culture.

Our Consultant

Valerie Segrest is co-founder of Tahoma Peaks Solutions, a Muckleshoot Tribe member, and a Food Security Advocate who has extensive knowledge in plant and human relationships. Her recent work includes design of the native plant gardens that are a feature of the current redevelopment of the Seattle waterfront. Her experience and knowledge are invaluable resources for planning this garden renovation project at the Dearborn House. Equally valuable is her unique ability to communicate and demonstrate the plant-human synergy that is foundational to the Coast Salish people.


Beginning in the Spring of 2024, changes will start to be visible at the Dearborn House. Look out for:
-Removal of overgrown and neglected shrubs
-Reconfiguration of planting areas to support an immersive flow of the outdoor space
-Soil amendments
-First round of planting

Phase one of the new healing garden will be taking place in the coming months. Stay tuned for updates and plans on phase two!

Questions about the project? Contact Horticulture Manager, Megan Stanek at megans@historicseattle.org


Garden plan: Megan Stanek