New purposes for something unwanted

English ivy (Hedera helix) is an invasive plant that has a reputation for spreading quickly and overcrowding indigenous vegetation. Every year SPES’ staff and volunteers remove hundreds of cubic meters of ivy from Stanley Park’s trees and shrubs to reduce the spread of this successful invader.

Over the past year, SPES and local artists have been working together to explore creative ways to repurpose green waste such as English ivy and Himalayan blackberry. In the Urban Weaver Project, invasive species are substituted for traditional weaving materials including cedar bark and cattails that are difficult to harvest sustainably in the city.

The project is wrapping up with a final celebration which includes an exhibition and an outdoor screening of video documentation of the project on Thursday, September 6, 2012 from 6-8 pm at the Maclean Park field house, 710 Keefer Street (corner of Heatley Avenue and Keefer Street).

The first phase of the Urban Weaver Project was launched last fall and is a collaboration between the Vancouver Park Board and Stanley Park Ecology Society. It supports the creative management and repurposing of both green waste and surplus spaces. More information is available at http://theurbanweaverproject.wordpress.com/.