Engish Ivy as erosion control: an eco-alchemists modern tale

In 2oo9 I worked with Stanley Park Ecology Society on a challenge; what to do with the massive amount of english ivy that comes out of Stanley Park from  invasive removal stewardship programs?

Once a month for a year I led community members that joined me investigating what we could do with  all that bio mass- many of you know that The Ivy Project was the start to a whole new world for me of looking at unwanted invasive plant species as potential art fodder.. but the best idea by far we came up with was using the  ivy vines to crochet netting, drying the netting and then installing it on a severely  impacted slope- the site of an invasive removal campaign from years back- which had left  the site almost bare of any organic material- and no roots to stabilize the slope. We installed the netting over organic mater we added to the site, with fresh plantings of native species and wattles of fast rooting pacific willow,dogwood and spirea.

Yesterday I did a site visit and this is what I found…

before, crocheting and spring 2010:IVY bio net 2010 June

installing the netting in 2009

ivy October 09 023and May 2013

IMG_6210there was no evidence of ivy rooting anywhere, and oddly, our dogwood and willow wattles did not seem to take-  there was evidence of  them a few years back, but what we did find was elderberry, salmon berry, thimbleberry, and vine maple thriving and the area is completely different now!

granted, this before site photo was January; when plants are dormant…20 but we can still see where the netting and site restoration project edge was;

IMG_6215notice the gravel- no organic mater left side of this photo? that was the edge of our restoration!!

And now… we have a new site.

IMG_6200a less steep slope, on the north edge of Lost Lagoon in Stanley Park looks like a fine candidate for an ivy net!

This weekend  Friday May 31, 3-7pm, and Saturday, Sunday June 1, 2 from 11am-1pm and 1.30-3.pm I will be crocheting on the roof on the Nature House in Stanley Park, then again  August 24/25 for the Stanley Park 125th  anniversary celebrations.

As this slope is more accessible and visible  by bikes and walkers on the pathway I am very excited at how we can turn  a slope restoration project into an actual highbred art installation- at least until the ivy disappears….

Join me to crochet on the roof of the nature house if you can-  an easy technique that anyone can do.Ivy Project April 09 025

Aug 09 279

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