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Pulling invasive ivy will be combined with cultural Earth Day celebration

Ivy-pulling work parties taking place in lead up to April 27 event at Colliery Dam Park
Michael Geselbracht, owner of Nanaimo Forest School, will team with Art Action Earwig Collective to hold a Pulling To Gather Earth Day event at Colliery Dam Park on April 27. (Michael Edwards photo)

Organizers in Nanaimo are clearing invasive species out of Colliery Dam Park in the lead up to Earth Day for use in an art event.

Art Action Earwig Collective is producing a Pulling To Gather Earth Day celebration on April 27.

Michael Geselbracht, owner of Nanaimo Forest School, is assisting with the event and said ivy is encroaching on the park and ivy-pulling work parties are ongoing. On top of providing material for the event, it is hoped the efforts will put a dent in growth at the park.

“Ivy has taken over much of the forest floor, and [we’ll] make art out of it and make art make a statement,” said Geselbracht. “Reflections on what are invasives? What are our relationship to the land to invasives, to native plants, to whole ecosystems that we operate in also as settlers, who brought over a lot of these things?”

He said it was originally imagined to be similar to the sandcastle building competition in Parksville, but the idea evolved into something that will have interpretative dance, photography, sculptures, and storytellers.

Celestine Aleck and Craig Taylor will tell stories andCrimson Coast Dance Society dancers will perform, and there will be a dance party in the evening. Some community participatory artwork will be part of the event as well as Art Action Earwig’s Love Tooth Nest sculpture and Myriam Verzat’s Silent Disco Creative Ivy Removal with Valerie Mermet.

Minah Lee, from Art Action Earwig Collective, said the event will benefit the environment.

“Removing invasive species creates room … for a native species to breathe and thrive,” Lee said.

The event was funded by Canada Arts Council and presented by City of Nanaimo.

The event takes place at Colliery Dam Park on April 27 from 1-9 p.m. An ivy-pulling work party will take place at the park on Sunday, April 21, from 1:30-3:30 p.m. and the day of the event from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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READ ALSO: City forms concrete plans to fix middle dam at Colliery Park

Karl Yu

About the Author: Karl Yu

After interning at Vancouver Metro free daily newspaper, I joined Black Press in 2010.
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