Friday, May 28, 2010
Invasive Species Art
When life gives you an abundance of invasive species, don't fret! Follow the lead of Seth Goldstein* and Paula Stone and make art!
Invasive species are non-native plants and animals -- often introduced by humans -- that outcompete their native counterparts and take over an ecosystem with disastrous effects. It's not hard to think of examples in the United States: kudzu in the South (in the photo above), zebra mussels in the Great Lakes, killer bees in Texas. You can learn more about invasive species at the National Invasive Species Information Center.
Organizations like The Nature Conservancy lead groups of volunteer "weed warriors" and animal spotters to locate and help remove invasive species. In a recent TNC publication, I read about Goldstein and Stone, a husband and wife weed warrior team, who bring their volunteer work home with them.
The artistic duo take looping vines of Oriental Bittersweet and turn it into art! I like Vinalope and Dude. You can see additional examples of their work at Gazette.Net and WUSA9.com. What a wonderful way to utilize this otherwise useless invasive species!
Photo credit of creeping kudzu: Kitten Wants, via flickr // CC BY 2.0
* Goldstein is also "the inventor of Why Knot, the machine that ties a tie in 562 steps", which is just bizarre enough that I felt compelled to include a link to it, even though it has nothing to do with endangered species: