Free Workshop: Grassroots Remedies for Detoxing and Healing Contaminated Land

October 25, 2013 - 12:00am to 2:30am

As part of Sustainability Awareness Week at the University of Alberta, APIRG, in collaboration with Public Interest Alberta are excited to bring you this free workshop:

Are you passionate about growing and gathering your own food and medicine, but are concerned that the soils in your community are contaminated by heavy metals or chemicals?

Do you live in a place where industrial activity formerly occurred or is currently taking place and are concerned about the toxic legacies left behind?

From transforming vacant lots and wastelands into urban farms, community gardens, and wild spaces, to growing and gathering safe and healthy food and medicine in our backyards and wildlands, how can we work with the power of living systems to heal contaminated and damaged land? When it comes to environmental disasters, like oil spills, how can we skill up and help with the recovery of the communities, lands and waters that we love?

This workshop will explore some of the DIY ways we can work with the many micro-organisms, mushrooms, and plants that are the planets finest and oldest disaster responders, alchemists, and healers.

This introductory workshop will cover the basics of different community accessible bioremediation techniques, including:

  • Microbial remediation: Using microorganisms to break down and bind contaminants
  • Phytoremediation: Using plants to extract, bind, and transform toxins
  • Mycoremediation: Using fungi to clean up contaminated soil and water.

Other topics that may be covered in the workshop include contaminants 101, oil spills, protective gear and self care, detox, and herbal allies for grassroots remediators, frontline communities and disaster responders. Welcome to the wild world of grassroots bioremediation and community driven earth repair.


  • the location is physically accessible
  • food will be served as part of the workshop
  • bus tickets are available for transport
  • childcare is available if confirmed by Oct 16 (email [email protected] to request childcare)
  • if you have any accessibility concerns please email [email protected]

About the Facilitator

Leila Darwish is a community organizer, permaculture practioner, writer, urban gardener, and aspiring grassroots herbalist with a deep commitment to environmental justice, decolonization, and to providing accessible and transformative tools for communities dealing with toxic contamination of their land and drinking water.

Over the last decade, she has worked as a community organizer for different environmental organizations and community groups in Alberta, BC and the USA on campaigns such as tar sands, fracking, nuclear energy, coal, climate justice, water protection, and more. She is a certified permaculture designer, has apprenticed on different organic farms, and has given workshops on grassroots bioremediation and earth repair for a diversity of groups and organizations in Canada and the USA.

She is the author of the new book “Earth Repair: A Grassroots Guide to Healing Toxic and Damaged Landscapes”, which was recently released by New Society Publishers.

For more information and to grab a copy of Leila’s book, check out

APIRG is located on Indigenous Territories and explicitly acknowledges that as we work towards identifying, challenging, and addressing intersections of oppression, it is critical to confront the ongoing practices of colonization of indigenous peoples and the land on which we live.


Room 177
Education Centre South, University of Alberta
Edmonton , AB