Native Invasives: Action for our Urban Ecology

In 2017 alone, 500 gallons of glyphosate were applied to the grounds of New York City parks, schools, hospitals, retirement homes, community centers, and government buildings. Glyphosate along with other herbicides has now been proven to increase the risk of Non-Hodgkins lymphoma by 41%. We also know these toxins contribute to auto-immune, neuro-degeneration, infertility, leaky gut, heart disease and unforeseen other dis-ease. Much of this spraying is done as a “necessary evil” in pursuit of unwanted invasive species. This virtually invisible phenomenon is a normalizing of the unthinkable and comes at the cost of both human and ecosystem health as these chemicals do irreversible damage to us and the microbial life in the soil, only promoting 1st succession ecosystems 2 and the need for more and more herbicides every year. Touted as a “useless nuisance”; nearly all non-native/ invasive plants have been utilized as food, medicine, paper, cordage, fabric, etc by cultures around the globe. In a world of finite “resources” and a country filled with ‘non-native’ humans we have no time to lose in changing our perspective about what simply thrives locally. This workshop will explore a few of these invasive species and discuss viable and effective educational and artistic problem solving already underway. These initiatives are essential for not only reimagining land management efforts in NYC but addressing how intertwined they are to social, political and environmental upheaval.

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Alyssa Dennis is an interdisciplinary artist, educator and trained clinical herbalist. Her work deploys ecological literacy through the culturally invisible practice of herbal medicine and land stewardship. She is particularly interested in accepting & integrating the virtues of plant intelligence as a solution to climate change that positively restructures our relationship with the land; one that is rooted in place-based identity which reestablishes reciprocity, respect & responsibility with our non-human kin.
Both creative endeavor and clinical herbal pharmacy her project The Invasive Apothecary proposes creative, holistic solutions to the toxic, capital centric, xenophobic, war-like paradigm of invasive plant species management. Alyssa is also the co-host of a series of free talks called the Invasive Species Creative Proposal Series.

To join us, please RSVP at:


Sep 19 2021


11:00 am - 12:30 pm

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