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Vashon Ivy Program
  of LifeSense Institute

Happiness is Healthy Trees

Protect Your Property - Steward Your Forest
Join the Vashon Ivy Program
“Invasive ivy is more than an abstract ecological menace.  The long term consequences of severe ivy infestation are falling trees (which endanger property, power lines, roads) and the general degradation of native habitat." 
                                            Robert Bornn, Founder, LifeSense Institute

Vashon Ivy Program-Team Leaders
Erin Durrett, Advisor
Robert Bornn, Founder 
Laura Worth, Founder

LifeSense Institute Advisory Board

Our Vashon Ivy Program advisory team will work with you to organize your neighbors, family, and friends to create neighborhood projects for ivy removal.  This can help save your trees and your land from the devastating effect of invasive ivy that smothers the native shrubs and ground cover.
Although the green 
growth on this tree is deceptively attractive, the trunk and branches of this tree are completely covered with ivy.  If left alone the ivy will smother the tree and topple it within a few years.
This is the same tree after ivy removal.  It is no longer being slowly strangled, and will live out its natural lifespan as part of the native ecosystem.
This is a healthy 
tree after an 
ivy infestation 
has been removed 
from its trunk.


Background. Effective ivy removal is quite labor intensive so that is why we recommend organizing self-help teams of neighbors, friends, and family to tackle the job. 

Initially we will focus on saving your trees.  Later removing ivy from the ground is also necessary.  The goal of removing ivy from the trees is to restore or preserve the native forest.  Ultimately all ivy needs to be removed and native ground cover restored.

Effective ivy removal requires some basic knowledge of native ground cover to ensure that whenever possible it is not destroyed in the process.  Native ground cover is desirable because it has deeper roots than ivy and will help to prevent erosion and slides. 

Technique. Beginning at eye level, begin stripping the ivy from the tree, taking care not to unduly bruise or breach the bark of the tree.  Strip the ivy off the tree down to the ground and then create an ivy-free circumference of 3 feet around the tree.  This is a buffer against immediate re-infestation of the tree.  Later, ivy can be pulled from the forest floor, taking care to leave any native ground cover intact. 

Waste Disposal.Ivy regenerates from cuttings, so every piece of waste ivy can potentially represent re-infestation.  Ivy waste should be removed from the immediate area to a designated composting or chipping area.  It can be piled in discrete heaps to compost in your forest.  Care must be taken in this case to monitor re-growth around the pile.  Waste can also  be taken to a recycle facility specializing in yard waste like The Dirt Yard on Vashon.  It can be chipped on your property and then composted, taking care to chip it twice since it regenerates from cuttings.

Robert Bornn, Laura Worth, and Erin Durrett are engaged in an innovative investigation of whether low-cost, year-round  heat for water and interiors can be harvested from composting ivy and other invasives with a nature-integrated, carbon-neutral technology.  An educational demonstration about their investigation of this invention will be available by appointment on Vashon-Maury Island. 


No Ivy League Summer Youth Crew  The No Ivy League Youth Crew in Oregon is comparable to our neighborhood-based program with focus on youth volunteers in public parks.  Our Vashon Ivy Program focuses on private land at risk.

Controlling Ivy in the Pacific Northwest, by the Nature Conservancy. 

Vashon Parks District Volunteer Program

1. Together we will walk the land in your neighborhood to identify high priority trees that are at risk.

2. We will guide you in contacting and organizing work teams of committed neighbors, friends, and family; or we can assume this organizing task on your behalf.

3. We help you prioritize and organize the work plan for the time that you, your neighbors, friends, and family have available. 

4. We can facilitate a neighborhood meeting (if needed). 

5. We can facilitate an informal agreement with your neighbors to represent your mutual  intentions for sharing the work in your neighborhood.

6. We can help you facilitate and organize the logistics involved in removing and disposing of the ivy.

7. To lower your cost, we suggest a neighborhood captain, someone who has an interest in working closely with us.  That person’s services from us will be complimentary.


Fees for these professional organizing and advisory services are for all size private groups.  Typically there will be at least two meetings and phone consultations.  It is anticipated that planning and facilitating each local neighborhood ivy management project will cost approximately $300-$600.  The fees can be shared with your neighbors to reduce household cost.  For example, with 10 participating households it is anticipated that the per-household professional fee will be about $30-$60.


Erin Durrett, Advisor
Robert Bornn, Founder 
Laura Worth, Founder

LifeSense Institute Advisory Board


"All That's Green Isn't an Emerald"....
by Robert Bornn and Laura Worth
Please visit BuildingCircles Organization, Op-Ed

Learn what we can do to help you organize an ivy roots project
in your neighborhood.

Get started freeing your trees today! 
Call us.  We can help.

(The Vashon Ivy Program is a project of LifeSense Institute, a nonprofit corporation)


We are actively seeking participants and donors for the Vashon Energy Project and the Vashon Ivy Program. In-kind-donations (services, materials, and equipment) are welcome.  We anticipate collaboration with a network of local and worldwide professionals with expertise in relevant fields. We are forming a dynanmic advisory board to optimize our projects. If you have interest, please contact us to join our mailing list, learn of sponsored informational events, and programs and activitites.

The Small Print:
LifeSense Institute is a Washington State nonprofit corporation.
LifeSense Insitute is registered for solicitations under the Washington State Charitable Solicitations Act, RCW 19.09.
LifeSense Institute is not currently a tax-exempt organization under IRC 501(c)(3).

This site is for educational purposes only.  It is not a substitute for professional consultation.
No claim is made or implied that the ideas, inventions, illustrations, and documents on this site are applicable to any
housing, building, or land use project.  Nor does the site represent in any way consulting services of any kind.
Nothing on this site is an offer to sell, transfer, license, or use proprietary technology.

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Copyright (c) 2006-2009 by Robert Bornn and Laura Worth.  All rights reserved.
LifeSense Institute, BuildingCircles, Vashon Energy Project, Project Solar Harvest, Solar Harvester,
Imagine * Facilitate * Share, Alternative energy for life, Vashon Ivy Program, and Happiness is Healthy Trees
are trademarks of Robert Bornn and Laura Worth.

Photos by Robert Bornn.
Web site by Laura Worth Web Design.