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Sacred Seeds at the Intervale Center: The Abenaki Heritage Garden

The Intervale Center seeks to nurture and sustain farms, land, and people. We manage 350 acres of farmland, nursery, trails, and wildlife corridors along the Winooski River in Burlington, Vermont. We share what we learn and do with other across our state and around the country.

The Abenaki Heritage Garden is a “three-sisters” garden with traditional corn, beans and squash varieties grown much as the Abenaki would have cultivated them 900 years ago. The garden is intended to honor the agricultural heritage of the Abenaki at the Intervale, educate the public about Abenaki history and culture, and grow food for the Abenaki community. 

 The Abenaki Heritage Garden was established in 2009 by a group of community volunteers led by the Burlington Area Community Gardens (BACG) Advisory Board. Working closely with the St. Francis/ Sokoki band of the Abenaki Nation at Missisquoi, the Intervale Center, Gardener’s Supply Company, the US Department of Agriculture, and the University of Vermont, the group developed a demonstration garden at the Intervale and a sister garden at the tribal headquarters in Swanton. The Abenaki Heritage Garden is now an Intervale Center project with a community advisory board made up of representatives from BACG (a program of Burlington Parks & Recreation), the St. Francis/ Sokoki band of the Abenaki Nation at Missisquoi, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and UVM’s Environmental Program. Support for the Abenaki Heritage Garden is generously provided by New Chapter and Will & Lynette Raap.