Traditional Resources

Traditional Resources Program

Ku' wah-dah-wilth Restoration Area

Of the 40-acre Potawot Health Village, twenty acres of restored natural area is a conservation easement dedicated forever to enhance and protect the wetland meadows

Of the 40-acre Potawot Health Village, twenty acres of restored natural area is a conservation easement dedicated forever to enhance and protect the wetland meadows located here. It is a place for cultural education, wildlife habitat, recreation, traditional American Indian agriculture, food production and spiritual meditation. The restoration area is known as the Ku’ wah-dah-wilth, which means “comes back to life” in the native Wiyot Indian language.

Potawot Community Food Garden

The three-acre Potawot Community Food Garden provides the UIHS community with a wide range of fresh, organically grown produce. From June through October the garden and greenhouses are filled with carrots, broccoli, pumpkins, greens, corn, strawberries, flowers, tomatoes, and peppers. The organic produce is distributed to the UIHS community through a bi-weekly produce stand as the clinic and through subscription to the Kay woi basket membership program.

During the winter months a large portion of the garden is covered with nitrogen fixing legumes and grasses that rejuvenates the soil. The entire fence surrounding the garden is planted with edible berries, such as blueberries, blackberries, filberts, and a variety of other delicious berries.

The adjoining Potawot Herb Garden provides the UIHS community with both traditional American Indian and European culinary and medicinal herbs. The Potawot Community Food Garden offers educational opportunities through a series of workshops on nutrition, organic agriculture, and hands-on internships during the summer months. Contact the UIHS Nutrition office for more information about the food garden.

As a component of the Food is Good Medicine project, UIHS produced a garden guide known as Food is Good Medicine: A practical Guide to Growing Food in Northwestern California and is available at the Potawot Health Village Administration Department.

For information on volunteer opportunities in the Potawot Community Food Garden call (707) 825-5000.

Fruit Tree Orchard

Adjacent to the Potawot Community Food Garden is a fruit tree orchard featuriing over sixty fruit varieties including apples, peaches, pears, cherries, Asian pears, plums, and figs.

Adjacent to the Potawot Community Food Garden is a fruit tree orchard featuring over sixty fruit varieties including apples, peaches, pears, cherries, Asian pears, plums, and figs. When the fruit is ripe it is made available to the community at the bi-weekly produce stand between the months of June and October. The orchards promote healthy eating and are delicious while taking a walk on the Ku’ wah-dah-wilth trails.

Potawot Herb Garden

Located at the Potawot Community Food Garden, the Potawot Herb Garden features a combination of native and introduced culinary and medicinal herbs. Herbs such as orageno, thyme, rosemary, calendula, lemon verbena, lavender, vine tea, lemon balm, peppermint, Oregon Grape, mugwort, amongst many others.

Located at the Potawot Community Food Garden, the Herb Garden features a combination of native and introduced culinary and medicinal herbs. Plants such as oregano, thyme, rosemary, calendula, lemon verbena, lavender, vine tea, lemon balm, peppermint, Oregon grape, mugwort, amongst many others are clustered throughout the garden paths that are in the shape of the UIHS logo.

Sustainability: a definition

Sustainability, in a broad sense, is the capacity to endure. It can be defined as the ability of an ecosystem to maintain ecological processes, functions, biodiversity and productivity into the future. In ecology, the word describes how biological systems remain diverse and productive over time. For humans it is the potential for long-term maintenance of wellbeing, which in turn depends on the wellbeing of the natural world and the responsible use of natural resources.

Pesticides and Basket Weavers, Gatherers, and Users

Broadly defined, a pesticide is a substance that is used to kill or control any pest. Pests can be insects, rodents, or birds, unwanted plants or weeds, fungi, or microorganisms such as bacteria or viruses. Often, pesticides are used in areas where basketweavers collect their materials. For this reason, basket weavers and those who use baskets need to know about pesticide use because:

Traditional Resources Advisory Committee (TRAC)

The Traditional Health Committee was established in April 1999, and merged with the Conservation Easement Management Advisory Committee (CEMAC) in July 2003 to form the Traditional Resources Advisory Committee (TRAC).

Concrete Tilt-up Construction

Why use concrete construction?

Potawot Health Village was built using tilt-up concrete construction. This method of building is often seen in large "box" construction commonly seen in department store construction. Although, the walls of the Potawot Health Village were built using forms casted out of split redwood to give the building the textureof redwood before being stained to look like redwood.

Green Building at Potawot

Site / Demo

  • Restoration of native landscape and farm 4 years prior to building
  • Designed with considerations to solar, wind, and visual aspects
  • Fill used to create topography for habitat and aspect


  • Slab foundation using local aggregate


Pine-Resin Walking Trails

Creating a Path to Good Health

 There are approximately 2 miles of walking trials at the Potawot Health Village for the purpose of promoting good health and recreation. The trails are made from local rock (shale) and are bound using pine resin which was derived as a by-product of a mill. The surface is semi-impervious and does not contain petroleum products that would otherwise leach into the wetlands and eventually the groundwater. The trails were funded by the UIHS Diabetes Program as a way to encourage healthy lifestyles.


UIHS Waste Reduction Program

Working to bring Balance to our Community and our Environment

Today many of the resources we use are quite different than those of the past, but we must share the same respect for our resources as we have in the past. Reduce, reuse, and recycle, our future generations are depending on us.

Alternative Energy


The UIHS solar system is 42 Kilowatts, which is equivalent to the energy needed to support 12-16 average size homes. The system is comprised of 216 Evergreen solar modules distributed to six 6 kw Sunnyboy inverters; each inverter receiving three series of twelve panels This is only the first phase of the project, and with additional fundraising efforts and as funds become available, UIHS plans to increase the size of the solar electric system to be able to meet the energy demands of Potawot.

Stormwater Wetlands

Rain (stormwater) collected on the parking lots and roofs are gravity fed into a treatment wetland where the pollutants are filtered. The treatment pond in Ku’ wah-dah-wilth is named Too-mahnocks, meaning “tule” or “bulrush” in the Yurok language. The pond naturally improves the quality of stormwater by filtering sediments and other pollutants that are carried to the wetland with runoff from the roofs and parking lots.

Recycled Materials at Potawot

A number of materials used to build Potawot Health Village were made from recycled materials. This compliments the Traditional Resources Advisory Committees goal of providing opportunities and education for cultural enrichment that acknowledge native values as they relate to renewable and sustainable practices. Many of the decks, picinic tables and benches found along the trails are made from recycled plastic bags and waste wood.

Recycled Materials

Recycled Materials.........

Recycled Redwood

Recycled redwood info here

UIHS Sustainable Practices

UIHS supports the use of sustainable/renewable practices and demonstrates examples of such at Potawot Health Village. These sustainable practices act as a model for providing opportunities and education for cultural enrichment that acknowledge native values as they relate to these practices. You will find examples of sustainable technologies used at Potawot throughout this site.

What do we mean by Sustainability?

Sustainable Practices

UIHS believes in the use of sustainable practices adn technologies

Sustainable Practices Info here

Sustainable Practices

Sustainable Practices info here

Sustainable Practices

Sustainable Practices Info here...

Traditional Resources Special Projects

Throughout the year and depending on the needs of the community, a number of special projects put on by UIHS take place. Such projects target the American Indian community as a means to build job training skills, build upon cultural knowledge, and provide opportunities for community interaction.

Such special projects are focused around art, culture, environment, and food security.

Examples of Special Projects UIHS has supported to date include:

Events & Workshops

UIHS Traditional Resources Program provides a number of community events and workshops that support UIHS's efforts for promoting community wellness. Such opportunities enable our community to particpate in educational programs that connect health to the environment, community, and culture. Keep your eye's out for upcoming events, workshops, and classes.


Soap Root Brush Making Class

Kaw-Ka-Now Newsletter

The Traditional Resources Program releases a bi-annual newsletter known as Kaw-Ka-Now (meaning “woodpecker” in the Yurok language) which focuses on programs that involve art, culture, environment, and healthy foods. Past Newsletters are available below and if interested in an electronic subscription to this newsletter, please contact or watch for new editions on below.

Arts & Culture Programs


Need Content!

1.    Art Collection

2.    Basket Collection

3.    Cultural Competency

4.    Potawot Health Village Architecture

a.    Walk of Elders

b.    Plank house design

c.    Gathering Room

UIHS Visitor Program

Through-out the 20-acre Ku' wah-dah-wilth Restoration Area there are a number of educational displays describing various aspects of the wetlands as well as the Ish-took Basket and Textile Garden. There is also the "Growing Healthy Communities" Self-guided Tour booklet (attached below) that is available at the adminstration desk at Potawot Health Village.

Take a breather at one of the benches along the trail and read about the site.


Traditional Resources Program

United Indian Health Services, Inc. recognizes the importance of traditional beliefs, practices, and ceremonies in the healing of the body, mind and spirit. UIHS understands that “all things” contribute to the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of the individual, the family, and the community.

Traditional philosophies of local tribes centered around the belief that wellness is achieved through the balance of “all things” in our lives. UIHS encourages a climate of respect, responsibility and acceptance in which traditional beliefs are honored.

Potawot Walking Trails

Ku’ wah-dah-wilth has approximately 2 miles of walking trails that meander around the wetlands, uplands, basket and textile garden, food garden, and through the meadows and orchards. The Walking Map below illustrates the walking routes and their distances.


The Life Blood of the Tree

This land has been dedicated to the people for healing.

We are standing on a special area of healing as our trees have many healing powers.

The roots are firmly planted in Mother Earth, bringing her water and milk to nourish her.

Ish-took Basket Garden

The Ish-took (meaning “to pick flowers or stems” in the Karuk language) Basket and Textile Demonstration Garden has been planted with hazel, beargrass, alder, spruce, willow, woodwardia ferns, maidenhair ferns and soap root to demonstrate plants used in basketweaving by American Indians of northern California.

The one acre garden serves as a place to gather basket materials, provide an outdoor classroom to learn about basketry, and serves to demonstrate the importance of managing the land to assure an abundance of basket plants. This garden also allows for UIHS to address the impacts of pesticides on weavers, gatherers, and users. Basketry is an essential element to the local American Indian culture. Fine durable plant materials are gathered, prepared, then woven into baskets and made into tools for both utilitarian and ceremonial use. Baskets are living and are to be used respectfully.

UIHS promotes alternative methods of managing the land without the use of pesticides such as burning.

Traditional Land Management Practices

To date restoration efforts in Ku' wah-dah-wilth (meaning “comes back to life” in the Wiyot language) have included the enhancement of five acres of seasonal wetlands and ten acres of wet meadow, and eight acres of reforested upland areas that have been planted with over 9,000 native trees, berries, shrubs, medicinal herbs and basketry plants.