Sanctuary Eco-Art Trail

The Sanctuary Eco-Art Trail embeds art, culture, ecology, and history into an urban nature walk along 6th Ave in North-Central Troy. The trail weaves a journey through the Sanctuary Campus from Glen Ave northward to Freedom Square. Visitors will engage with stories of ecological restoration, environmental justice, and the living legacy of Indigenous peoples through gardens, live events, multimedia, murals, sculptures, and workshops. This project is realized with the support of an NEA Our Town grant received in collaboration with the Stockbridge-Munsee Community Band of Mohican Indians. Take a look at our Upcoming Events Page to learn more on when and where you can experience the Eco-Art Trail, or plan your own self-guided tour using this Eco-Art Trail map.

an illustration of the Sanctuary campus along Sixth Ave. From left to right: L Lot, NATURE Lab, Collard City Growers' Lot, the Sanctuary, and Freedom Square. It also points out: Mugwort Panel, Birds & Bee housing, Talking Circle, Medicine Garden, Sturgeon Installation, Seed Rematriation, Indigenous Storytelling & Media Making,  Sounds and Music of Visiting Artists

Stockbridge-Munsee Collaborators:

Other Collaborators

Project Description and Partners

A circular symbol with the words "Mohican Nation, Stockbridge-Munsee Band" around the inside of the perimeter. There is a concentric circle within, which is divided into quadrants. Each quadrant contains the silhouette of an animal: a grey wolf on the top left, a brown turkey on the top right, a black bear on the bottom left, and a green turtle on the bottom right.

The Stockbridge-Munsee Tribe are in partnership on this project, which features Stockbridge-Munsee as well as other Indigenous artists and musicians, historians and storytellers, eco-artists, and muralists, connecting Indigenous wisdom to visions for a future of healing and reparations.

We understand that one goal of the Eco-Art Trail is to continue to bring our stories to life. Embedding our history and culture into a publicly accessible and self-guided trail will make it possible for our words and ways of being to connect with a wider audience.

Shannon Halsey
Tribal President
Stockbridge-Munsee Community Band of Mohican Indians

Learn more about about Stockbridge-Munsee Community Band of Mohicans and their stories of Origin and History.

The Sanctuary Eco-Art Trail is dedicated to celebrating the sacred Mohican soils we are honored to tend. We are beneficiaries of millennia of human history unfolding in a majestic river valley, where the land has been nurtured by Indigenous hands and traumatized through industrial development and systemic inequity.

A watercolor scene of a Native American village on a riverbank. The village includes a wigwam and three longhouses, of which one is under construction. In the foreground, two people wearing buckskins and carrying bows and arrows approach the village, apparently returning from a hunt.

Embedding art, ancestral history, culture and local and Indigenous artist presentations, the trail engages our rich local ecology and the struggle for environmental justice, while offering settler communities insight into the history and living legacy of Indigenous peoples on these lands.

The Sanctuary Eco-Art Trail is located on a block-wide environmental campus in North Central Troy, near the Northern tip of the Mahicannituck (Hudson) River Estuary—just a few hundred feet from Federal Lock One of the Erie Canal. Part of the river’s historic flood plain and home to significant Mohican cultural sites, this neighborhood is also one of the poorest in New York State, with a long history of disinvestment and environmental contamination. The Eco-Art Trail acknowledges these layered histories as we dream and build towards restored biocultural diversity and robust Indigenous futures.

NEA Our Town Support

Our new NEA Our Town grant supports creation of the Sanctuary Eco-Art Trail, connecting Indigenous legacy to an urban nature walk on 6th Avenue. The Eco-Art Trail weaves a journey from Freedom Square on 101st St south to our newest community platform, NATURE Lab (with Citizen Science Laboratory and People’s Health Sanctuary) and on our growing permaculture forest reaching south to Glen St.

screenshot from the virtual storymap experience

Musical events, including StoryHarvest and Freedom Festival at Freedom Square, will showcase Indigenous music from symphony orchestra performance, hip hop, drumming and storytelling.

With an earlier NEA Our Town grant a decade ago, the Sanctuary collaborated with community to build the Freedom Square Art Stage. Our latest National Endowment for the Arts “Our Town” Creative Place-making grant for the “Sanctuary Eco Art Trail” supports the commissioning, engagement, creation, and installation of multimedia artworks and creative learning experiences along one city block in Troy.

An abstract mosaic wall is made up of irregularly shaped tiles in various shades of red, beige, and blue. The word "FREEDOM" is written across the middle in block letters.

Multimedia (video and sound art, music and interviews from Stockbridge-Munsee and Sanctuary archives) augment voices on settler lands experiencing systemic trauma, gaining strength through our community radio station Hudson Mohawk Network. 

Kahstoserakwathe Paulette Moore (Kanyen’kehà:ka), member of Six Nations of the Grand River territory and The Aunties Dandelion collective.

For the past two decades, the Sanctuary has developed infrastructure, consciously critiquing gentrification and cultural tourism through building platforms for long standing creative alliances.

A city crosswalk is painted with the Sanctuary's sturgeon logo, repeated in varying sizes and shades of blue. A small boy wearing a white T-shirt and black shorts runs through the crosswalk.

“The Sanctuary Eco-Art Trail addresses the historic erasure of the voices of the people of North Central. From the forced relocation of the Indigenous peoples over 300 years ago, to the toxic legacy of the Industrial Revolution impacting settler lands and neighbors today, their voices must be heard. Through participatory arts, we collaborate as allies – to help raise up the presence of the ancestors and activate networks struggling against economic inequality, systemic racism, and climate change.”

Branda Miller, Project Director, Troy Record 5-28-22.

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About The Sanctuary

We use art and participatory action to promote social and environmental justice and freedom of creative expression.

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