From plants to art . . . Ruth Evans displays plants she created with a range of techniques and from mostly recycled material. They are poroporo (left), harakeke and she is holding kowhai. PHOTO: ELLA STOKES

Using her artistic skills to teach people about the importance of native plants is what one Dunedin woman’s latest project aims to do.

“What Grows Where You Live” is an environment envoy project commissioned as part of Te Ao Turoa, Dunedin’s environment strategy, and delivered through Urban Dream Brokerage.

Artist Ruth Evans was behind the idea which began late last year.

She said it aimed to embrace biodiversity in Dunedin.

Ms Evans and her team began by working with private and public landowners to reintroduce native flora across the greater Dunedin area.

In March, they hosted planting days in Northeast Valley, Waitati, Karitane and on Quarantine Island.

Ms Evans has also handcrafted native plants from mostly donated materials, which are on display at the “WGYL” exhibition at 23 Princes St.

She also created a zine (self-published book) from her experiences throughout the project to show where the plants grew, how to source them, and their traditional use.

Alongside her art, the 30-year-old also works as a workshop technician.

She said the project had been hard work but she had enjoyed it.

“It’s been a platform where I can do educational artwork . and people can have an appreciation for native flora from perspectives they haven’t had before.”

Ms Evans said her passion was making art. She had the idea and made it happen.

“The project aimed to teach people about planting natives and use art as a vessel to make people aware of the importance of native species.

“They’re not a weed.”

As part of the exhibition, workshops were also being held for skills and knowledge-sharing by local residents, Ms Evans said.