Tribal youth and Washington State University create seed bombs to heal wildfire-damaged lands; the clay balls of soil and seeds could help Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation restore forests hit by three major wildfires in seven years

Sample article from our Sustainability & Social Responsibility

PULLMAN, Washington , July 1, 2022 (press release) –

To help nature heal from conflagrations, youth of the Colville Reservation have partnered with Washington State University Extension to create seed bombs: clay balls of soil and seeds dispersed to start new generations of native plants.

The hope is that the bombs will help the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation in north-central Washington restore forests that have experienced three major wildfires over the past seven years. 

Last July, during the state’s hottest and driest year ever, the Chuweah Creek Fire burned more than 11,000 acres on the reservation, destroying homes and burning more than 34,000 acres of tribal timberland.

Linda McLean
“Last summer, as in previous seasons, the Colville reservation was ravaged by wildfire,” said Linda McLean, director and 4-H educator with WSU Colville Reservation Extension. “The difference was that 2021 fires threatened more residential areas, and many families, including youth, were impacted by smoke, flames, and the need to evacuate.”

For the “Seed Bombs – Healing the Earth” project, Colville Reservation Extension’s 4-H Youth Development Program collaborated with the Colville Confederated Tribes, the tribal Mount Tolman Fire Center, and the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs Division of Natural Resources to teach youth how to make the seed bombs. 

Encased in clay and soil, the ‘bombs’ are seeds of native plants chosen to attract pollinators, benefiting natural plant communities and agricultural crops. In nature, the ‘bombs’ are broken down by the elements, allowing seeds to sprout.

Tribal and Extension educators partnered with more than 500 children from Lake Roosevelt, Nespelem, and Keller Schools, the Pascal Sherman Indian School, the Nespelem and Keller Boys & Girls Club, Inchelium Behavioral Health, Nespelem Headstart, and the SHARP Kids Afterschool program. Visiting classrooms this spring, they shared ideas about fire, pollinators, and soil health, and worked with students and teachers to create the seed bombs.

A step-by-step 4-H video on how to make seed bombs can be viewed on YouTube, and the seed bomb project, McLean said, makes an ideal companion project for 4-H At Home Pollinators activities.

Seed bombs are clay balls of soil and seeds tossed to start new generations of native plants.
In June, groups of students traveled to Chuweah Creek Fire burn sites and rangeland areas, dispersing seed bombs to control erosion and increase plant diversity and wild habitat. Other youths placed their seed bombs near the Colville Tribal Agency campus’ Smokey Bear sign. Each youth was given a project pin as a thank-you gift and memento.

Return field trips to these sites are planned, allowing students to see the living results of their efforts. McLean plans to continue the partnership.

“The Colville Reservation, like so many other places in the Pacific Northwest, experiences wildfire every year,” she said. “There are always places that need extra help with rehabilitation of plant communities and soil health.”

* All content is copyrighted by Industry Intelligence, or the original respective author or source. You may not recirculate, redistrubte or publish the analysis and presentation included in the service without Industry Intelligence's prior written consent. Please review our terms of use.

See our dashboard in action - schedule an demo
Dan Rivard
Dan Rivard
- VP Market Development -

We offer built-to-order sustainability & social responsibility coverage for our clients. Contact us for a free consultation.

About Us

We deliver market news & information relevant to your business.

We monitor all your market drivers.

We aggregate, curate, filter and map your specific needs.

We deliver the right information to the right person at the right time.

Our Contacts

1990 S Bundy Dr. Suite #380,
Los Angeles, CA 90025

+1 (310) 553 0008

About Cookies On This Site

We collect data, including through use of cookies and similar technology ("cookies") that enchance the online experience. By clicking "I agree", you agree to our cookies, agree to bound by our Terms of Use, and acknowledge our Privacy Policy. For more information on our data practices and how to exercise your privacy rights, please see our Privacy Policy.