AHG Community Service Award
AHG Community Service Award
Herbalists Making A Difference!
The AHG Community Service Award honors an individual or group that has contributed significantly to the herbal profession and made a lasting impact through community or environmental service related to herbal professions on a local or national level. Past recipients include the Arizona Ethnobotanical Association, the Sage Mountain Health & Wellness Clinic in Vermont, Natural Doctors International, the Common Ground Collective in New Orleans, the Herb Bus and Herbalista Free Clinic in Atlanta, the Ithaca (NY) Free Clinic, the Occupy Eugene Free Clinic in Oregon, and the Alternative Access Healthcare Campaign of Seattle.
The recipient of the Community Service Award is recognized with a plaque award at the Annual General Meeting of The American Herbalists Guild, at the Annual Symposium. In addition, the recipient will receive funding in the form of a cash award to further their community efforts. Funding is made possible by donations and contributions received from the AHG Annual Silent Auction Benefit. All nominees will be recognized at the Annual Meeting, in the AHG Members Newsletter, and in the Journal of the American Herbalists Guild.
About the 2015 CSA Award Winner
Crystal Wilson grew up in the shadow of the Appalachian Mountains where herbal medicine runs through the culture, as deep as the roots of the forest from which it is made. Her Daddy carried me through the forests before she could walk, teaching her the plants and trees. She does not remember a time before having a knowledge of the forest. Somewhere along the way, she was dubbed a “Granny Woman”. It is her most treasured title next to "Mama" because it is the title given by her people to the medicine keepers. A Granny Woman’s most important asset is knowing the people and community she serves, providing them with not only leaves and roots for healing, but also with a hug and a smile.
In the tradition of serving her community, this last year Wilson started a project at a local women’s shelter. The shelter serves women drawn from the local homeless population who have experienced everything from addiction to incarceration. They started out the year by planting herbs at the shelter donated by our farm. Each month, Wilson and her apprentices have held a class for the women on how to create medicine from the herbs growing there at the shelter. Wilson also do one on one consultations with the women to support their physical healing. She also teamed up with a local food co-op to sell teas. This line of teas addresses women’s health concerns and the total amount of the proceeds are donated to the shelter.
This is just one of things Wilson has done and continues to do to serve her community. Serving her community has always been Wilson's heart and her tradition. She has been blessed to be able to give back by connecting people with their culture and their medicine.