WWU Miyawaki Mini-Forest

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WWU Miyawaki Mini-forest Interpretive Sign

WMTP PlanTing Project

WWU Miyawaki Mini-Forest

Unique Miyawaki Mini-Forest Established With LEAD & COB — First in the Region

After months of coordination with City of Bellingham and WWU’s LEAD student environmental program, on Earth Day 2023 over 170 volunteers from us all teamed up to plant the region’s first “mini-forest.”
This unique reforestation site is located at the corner of Billy Frank Sr., Drive and E. Ivy Street on the northwest corner of campus.
The mini-forest was designed and planted using the Miyawaki Method developed by botanist Akira Miyawaki in Japan. For the past 30+ years, his methodology has been used to successfully create mini-forests in cities all around the world. It mimics how forests naturally regenerate – by planting a variety of native climax species densely together. The method is especially ideal for small urban sites.
We planted 900+ trees. (WMTP volunteers contributed about a third of that). Other volunteers that day removed Himalayan blackberry, English ivy, and other non-native plants in the adjacent Arboretum to help existing mature trees there survive.
Besides providing volunteers and planting expertise, WMTP is assisting LEAD to design and create an informative, compelling interpretative sign to educate the community about this unique site.
We think mini-forests are a valuable, interesting way to efficiently boost urban forest canopy. We are now planning other mini-forests (to be announced). Subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter for the latest mini-forest news!

Volunteer Opportunities

Know of a small, publicly-accessible site that might be a good candidate for another Miyawaki mini-forest? Please contact us!
Want to volunteer in a WMTP work party? Meet other tree-lovers, enjoy fresh air, have fun, and contribute to a cool project and important cause? Please join our work party contact list!

Related Links/Resources

WWU’s LEAD program website
Video of the innovative Miyawaki Method
Hannah Lewis, author of The Mini-forest Revolution, presentation at Western

Work Party Photos

April 22 (Earth Day)

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