Wakaŋ Tipi Awaŋyaŋkapi (formerly known as Lower Phalen Creek Project) is a Native-led environmental stewardship nonprofit with a mission to engage people to honor and care for our natural places and the sacred sites and cultural value within them. Our service area is on Dakota land and stretches from Lake Phalen to the Mississippi River and throughout the East Side River District.
We offer programs in Environmental Education, Urban Restoration & Conservation, and Cultural Connections & Healing.
In addition to monthly community programs, Wakaŋ Tipi Awaŋyaŋkapi also leads several large scale environmental and cultural restoration projects on the east side, often in partnership with the city, local watershed districts, and other nonprofit partners. Some of these projects include:
- The reclamation, restoration and continued stewardship of Wakaŋ Tipi/Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary
- The creation of Wakáŋ Tipi Center - a Dakota-led cultural and environmental interpretive center on the east side of Saint Paul
- The Daylighting or resurfacing of a lost waterway now known as Phalen Creek
All of our work is driven by our community and centered in traditional Dakota values. We have engaged thousands of community members, volunteers, local business owners, nonprofits and stakeholders for each project we have pursued.
Wakáŋ Tipi Center is our current focus project. Set to open in 2025, this cultural and environmental interpretive center will honor and protect the Dakota sacred site located within Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary, Wakáŋ Tipi cave. It will also serve as a visitor center and gathering place for the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary as part of the Great River Passage Master Plan for Saint Paul's parks, trails, and open spaces along the Mississippi River corridor.