Native Plants & People
NATIVE AMERICAN SANCTUARY that honors our "Local Roots"
Native Medicine Wheel
By Jeff Stevens
The Circle of Life (above) of Delaware River stones is the energetic center of the arboretum. It has large rocks and trees planted to mark the four compass directions. The layout is a medicine wheel turned on its side. This sacred place with the mound in the middle is also a microcosm of native ceremonial grounds. It is a place for contemplation, stillness, healing, and personal ceremony. (Please watch your step)
Seneca Jeff with his offspring, daughter, Meherrin and son, Chayton.
Sacred Ceremonial Plunging Hole
The plunging ceremony or going to water is for purification including washing away of bad thoughts or emotions. After singing the water song, regardless of the season, you submerge yourself in the river seven times for each of the directions. The plunging ceremony is an age old ritual that helps bring about spiritual growth. (Located 25 yards upstream from bridge near the Green Ash)
Ceremonial plunging hole in nearby Teetertown Ravine
Sweat House on the Delaware River
Living sculpture entitled, "Local Roots" manifested by Anthony C. Pasquini. 2002 to 2014. Photographed Summer 2014 (250 Feet x 75 Feet)
Native American people were going about their lives for centuries in the Pohatcong Valley until they were disrupted, sometimes severely. Starting in the 1740s, the local native people lived in the midst of early settlers. Remnant bands of indigenous population later persisted for decades hiding in dense mountain forests and difficult to reach swampy areas.
Grave of the Last Native
Memorializes the last native people to spend their lives here before the remnant bands were forced westward most never again to see their beloved lands. A small fraction assimilated.
Specimen Blackhaw Viburnum arches over the Grave of the Last Native
After many years, great diligence, and ceremony, there came the moment: PEACE, HARMONY, and HAPPINESS was returned to this land on Earth Day 2018.
Native Ancestors' Tree -Yellow Birch
The arboretum is essentially native ceremonial grounds open to the public. PLEASE BE RESPECTFUL
Pohatcong Native Arboretum is part of the 91 acre Pohatcong Creek Natural Area municipal park which features pristine wetlands and spectacular streamside forests with large specimen trees.