The Alder Eco-Arts Hub at Slocan Park Fieldhouse (2750 East 29th Ave. Vancouver) provides space, teaching and other resources for multiple groups to use for art, environmental stewardship, and learning; with a focus on ethical wildcrafting and the creation of art and functional objects with the natural and sustainable gifts found in Renfrew Ravine. The Alder is coordinated by Still Moon Arts Society.
We intend to create a safe welcoming environment for neighbours to gather; to learn from Indigenous elders, artists, scientists, and each other; to make connections across cultures and disciplines; to appreciate the richness of nature; to respectfully create with natural materials; and to feel like we belong here in nature and in community. Workshops will give participants knowledge of natural systems, and awareness of traditional and contemporary Indigenous knowledge. The fieldhouse is ideally located adjacent to the Renfrew Ravine and Still Creek; has room for hanging and drying of raw plant materials; and has a sink, a fridge, and a stove for processing plant materials.
Why “The Alder”?
Alders are commonly found near streams, rivers, and wetlands. Alders are among the first species to grow in areas disturbed by floods, windstorms, fires, landslides, development, and logging. Alder improves the fertility of the soil where it grows, and it helps provide additional nitrogen for the successional species which follow (such as Cedar, Douglas Fir, and Hemlock). The bark is good for tanning, dye colour, gargles for sore throats, salves for psoriasis and rheumatism (among other things), and weaving; the wood is good for carving, furniture, building instruments, and mask-making. We want The Alder Eco-Arts Hub to become a quick-growing centre of art and multi-generational mentorship that will honour Traditional Knowledge of Indigenous Elders, learn from senior artists, and encourage new generations of artists and community members to learn, create, and develop collaborative and sustainable artistic ecosystems.
This project is generously supported by the BC Arts Council’s Arts-Based Community Development Program, and the Vancouver Park Board’s Field House Activation Program which provides project space and access to parks to foster community-engaged activity that focuses: arts, culture, sport, environment, local food and social encounters. To learn more about all the other Fieldhouse studio projects go to https://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/fieldhouse-programs.aspx