The Herbarium Project
Coast Salish ethnobotanist, community gardener and interdisciplinary artist T’uy’t’tanat Cease Wyss was the first artist to collaborate with MaryAnn Persoon’s class. Through a series of foraging trips to Capilano River, Harmony Garden, Trillium Park and Stanley Park, Cease and the students gathered plants, fungi, moss, lichen and more from different local habitats. They identified species – learning both their Skwxwu7mesh and Latin names – and pressed their plants. The class then composed these into a series of individual, hand-stitched herbarium books, inviting students to open their senses to local natural environments and encounter first-hand the deep interconnections of our ecosystems. Together, the pressed plants formed not only a beautiful collection but also a historical document of biodiversity and a way to measure change in our natural landscapes.