EartHand Gleaners Society 2016

This is the good work we did together in EartHand Gleaners Society's third year:

Eslhalha7kw'hiwus: Rewilding an Urban Community

From December 2015 to June 2016, Grade 6/7s from a local elementary school spent twice-weekly sessions learning about Host Nations language and heritage, making art and doing ancestral skills using plants, and practicing observation and stewardship of the land at Trillium North Park. By the end of the project their attachment to and knowledge of the park and the plants was strong; it had become 'their place' to learn, to play, and to be.

Eslhalha7kw'hiwus: Rewilding an Urban Community was made possible through the support of the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation and the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation. Eslhalha7kw'hiwus is a word generously shared with us by language keeper Rebecca Duncan, who received it from her late father.
"I learned that I actually like being outside, just sitting and being in nature"
Soil to Sky Part I: Research Labs

In May and early June, EartHand was proud to host more than a dozen community skill holders, educators and programmers to come together over four intense weeks of bi-weekly sessions to explore all the aspects of making kites "the new old-fashioned way," with materials all grown and gathered in the neighbourhood. The bonds that formed amongst us and the new skills and experiences we acquired to take back to the communities we serve are the legacy of this project.

Oh yes, and the kites flew nicely, too!

Soil to Sky Part I: Research Labs was made possible through funding from the City of Vancouver Office of Cultural Affairs and the generous participation of our many community skill holders and partner organizations (in alphabetical order): British Columbia Kitefliers Association, Environmental Youth Alliance, Extra Steps Preschool, Hastings Learning Garden, Hives for Humanity, and Strathcona Elementary After School Adventures.
"I find myself able to pass on skills as well as learn skills. I wouldn't even know I had something to pass on until somebody asked!" - Anna Knowlson "This project supported those of us in social justice and activism who are on the front lines. The only way we can provide good experiences is if we know what they sound like, feel like, look like. We can do it for a little while but if we don't get refreshed it becomes inauthentic and burns us out. I appreciate the people who funded this project for having that insight that the ripple effect is far greater than just the workshops, skills, or products" - Erin Udal
Blackberry/Butterfly: Nets in the Pollinator Pasture

In June, July and August, EartHand was thrilled to join the happenings created through the work of Cameron Cartiere, local community participants and the City of Richmond in creating the pollinator pasture at Bridgeport Industrial Park. Sharon led blackberry fibre harvests and rope making circles, working towards the creation of sculptural butterfly nets to hang in the pine trees alongside the pollinator pasture. With live musical accompaniment and guest speakers, the evenings sparked conversations, sharing, and life in the space.

Blackberry/Butterfly came about through the support of Cameron Cartiere of Emily Carr University of Art and Design and the City of Richmond. Thanks also to our many wonderful guest speakers and musicians!
Soil to Sky Part II: Public Events

In September, October and the beginning of November we brought our spring Soil to Sky research to the public, enlivening the programming of many other community partners with demonstrations and hands-on activities in linen processing, spinning, paper making, and bamboo splitting, crayon-making, and more.

THANK YOU to all of our community leaders and skill holders that helped out at the events- we couldn't have done it without you!

Soil to Sky Part II was made possible through the support of the BC Arts Council, City of Vancouver and Vancouver Park Board; the generous help of many volunteers and community leaders; and our phenomenal partner organizations (in alphabetical order): British Columbia Kitefliers Association, Carnegie Community Centre, Environmental Youth Alliance, Extra Steps Preschool, Hastings Learning Garden, Heart of the City Festival, Hives for Humanity, Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival, and Strathcona Elementary After School Adventures.
"I think the kite fliers are like individuals who come together because we all work with the same product. But you guys come together because you share the process of making things from scratch. It's opened my eyes to that complete process that we mostly ignore as part of modern life." - Cal Yuen
Weaving Our Social Fabric

Throughout the summer and fall, Weaving our Social Fabric included three concurrent projects to enhance the spaces at Trillium Park: A custom-designed, wall-mounted Walking Wheel made by Arlin ffrench; a whimsical carved rain catchment system designed by David Gowman and made by him and his crew of carvers; and embellishments on the outside of the west chain link fence created by Melodie Flook and participants in her rope-making workshops. The fence now looks much friendlier, we look forward to having rain water for watering the dye garden next year, and the Walking Wheel has already proved invaluable as a tool for teaching new spinners to spin!

Weaving our Social Fabric was made possible through Vancouver Park Board's Neighbourhood Matching Fund, Culture Days, and the generous giving of time by the many artists, craftspeople and community volunteer participants who brought it all together!
"I enjoyed my time in joining Festoonery which was a good experience and fun"
EartHand Gleaners Society cultivates dynamic, inclusive, resilient communities, finding a path forward in which we live more closely attuned to each other and the world around us. Thank you for being part of the journey, and see you in 2017!
Created By
Rebecca Graham


Photos by Sharon Kallis and Rebecca Graham

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