Beaver Pond(er)ing Lodging

About:

Beaver Pond(er)ing Lodging interweaves the ancient tradition of willow weaving, community-led stream bank stewardship, and innovative mycelial (mushroom) sculpture techniques. It brings attention to the interconnected environmental and social injustices of human displacement and habitat loss through the creation of a beaver and an RV(recreational vehicle) woven from living willow plant material filled with pollution-eatingTurkey Tail mushroom mycelium. 

Beaver Pond(er)ing Lodging will be created in multiple phases:

Phase I, 2021: Research and Development – (supported by Canada Council) We are learning about the site, planting and growing willow, researching and piloting the techniques we will use, and learning from weavers, knowledge keepers and community members. 

Phase II, 2022 – 2024: Concept to Realization – (Pending further funding support ). We will grow and create the interactive eco-art sculptures on site.

This project will engage the Still Creek watershed community, consult with local residents and may incorporate a full eco-restoration project to a larger area in the way of removing invasive species, planting native species and restoring the Still Creek bankside to multi-story vegetation. This eco-restoration component will fall under Still Moon’s major stewardship project Shedding Light on Still Creek, if approved. The location of this project is pending approval.

Fruiting Bodies Sculpture "Ted" - Photo by Bea Miller (Apr 2019)
A beaver climbs up the stream bank, curiously noticing an RV that is parked on the lawn. 

Why a beaver and RV?

Local seniors and Indigenous Knowledge Keepers tell us stories of a time when the area held natural bogs and many streams flowed throughout the watershed. Beavers, a keystone species, had engineered ponds all along lower Still Creek, creating abundant wetlands that slowed and stored rainwater and nurtured a very diverse ecosystem. In the Coast Salish worldview, the beaver symbolizes social responsibility and diligent collaboration. The beaver has also become a national symbol for Canada. This came through the exploitation and trading of beavers for their pelts that were used to make hats for the aristocrats of Europe, where beavers had already been trapped to near-extinction. By honouring and encouraging beavers as ecosystem builders, we strive to embody the traditional values of Beaver, while working towards ecosystem health. The RV respectfully acknowledges the residents who find refuge in the outskirts of our unaffordable city. Still Moon hopes the collaborative process can inspire a sense of belonging and a culture of stewardship in the human community of the watershed.

Why Turkeytail mycelium? 

Turkey Tail mycelium is commonly employed in bioremediation of soil and water, as its digestive enzymes degrade petroleum hydrocarbons and other chemical pollutants. Helping to mitigate effects of local flooding, Turkey tail is also a common inhabitant of beavered landscapes and a native species revered for its medicinal properties.

Still Moon hopes this project shines light on the stark injustices of the urban world, educates people on the local history and ecological principles, and provides a regenerative and collaborative opportunity for us and the land. 

Carmen Rosen, founding director of Still Moon, and mycologist/artist Willoughby Arevalo will be leading artists on this project. 

Location: TBD. Target location: On the northeast corner of 3185 Grandview Highway (near Rupert Skytrain Station) 

PROJECT FUNDERS & SUPPORTERS