Toolshed's Streambank project supports critical riparian ecosystems by removing itadori (aka “Japanese knotweed”) and planting varieties of the Salix genus (willow), while exploring experimental uses of both plants through a network of designers, craftspersons, artisans, and producers. We aim to show that long-term, non-chemical knotweed management can become self-sustaining and scalable through innovative uses of plant biomass in local circular economies, while restoring riparian buffers, sequestering carbon, and helping communities become more resilient.

Knotweed is a widespread problem, transforming landscapes and threatening water quality, bridges and critical infrastructure, and the wider ecology of the Catskills and Hudson Valley region. Standard management relies on chemicals, expensive interventions, and wasteful burning or burying. But new research shows promising uses for knotweed as food, medicine, dyes, paper, biocomposites, and more, as well as willow’s potential for biomass and biofuel, flood mitigation, and carbon sequestration, and knotweed can be rendered non-viable and safe for transport via simple, scientifically proven methods. Our project restores forgotten stewardship practices of human-willow cohabitation, using a rich eco-cultural heritage to inform management practices for a new fixture of the landscapes, knotweed. 

Through our work to form a labor cooperative and other community partnerships, we hope to offer opportunities for employment and income generation for local communities, and to demonstrate and share methods that are scalable as well as applicable to other introduced species and regions. practicing a form of biocultural restoration, which SUNY”s Center for Native Peoples and the Environment defines as “attempt(ing) to restore not only ecosystems, but also human and cultural relationships to place, such that cultures are strengthened and revitalized alongside the lands with which they are inextricably linked.”


Prattsville, NY

Saturday April 6 tree planting

Saturday July 13 knotweed removal

10am–1pm & 1–4pm volunteer shifts

Join us for some fun ecological restoration work at a scenic stretch of Schoharie Creek, steps from downtown Prattsville. Orientations at 10am and 1pm; Free parking, water, gloves, and tools provided; bring your own bug spray, sun protection, and tick protective clothing. Bathrooms available. Kid-friendly with adult supervision.

Please RSVP to

(rain/backup days following Saturdays)

All volunteers will learn about local ecology and best practices for knotweed management, and will receive discounts on any future products made willow and other biomaterials.

A volunteer remove stalks from a dense knotweed thicket.

Traditional bushels as experimental desiccation technique.

Early Detection Rapid Response for propagules at stream bed.

Bioleather prototypes by 2023 steward in residence Anna B.

De-barking rhizome for medicinal products..

Paper samples made during event at Women's Studio Workshop.