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…
installing the netting in 2009
there 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!
And now… we have a new site.
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….