2012 @ Martina Ernst
Inspired by nature - this is part one of a two-part essay. Part two will be posted on May 17.
but in short it is an oasis in the middle of an urban environment.
My “backyard” is a park. The park is a mixture of paved pathways, parking spots, people amenities, a swimming pool, rough and cropped lawn areas. High rise buildings to the east, north and south low rise buildings, golf course to the west. The Humber River lies to the north. The park is totally man made, several little lakes act as reservoirs for the overflow run off rain water coming from the adjacent higher ravine areas.
But somehow the City of Toronto managed to create a basis where over time different stakeholders could claim their niches. Home to a whole host of animals: turtle, fish, geese, frogs, kingfishers, other birds, beavers, muskrats, domestic cats, raccoons (in the past I have even seen foxes and further on deer) which seem to be thriving in and around the lakes.
The City’s management seems to be limited to cutting some of the grass areas occasionally (the geese keep the grass fairly short), making sure that the overflow grills are clean, the beavers have a habit of blocking them off (I think the beavers are winning) and cleaning the garbage. Everything else seems to be left to its own devices.
The magic is not its spotlessness, believe me it is not. There is rubbish and goose poop everywhere. It is not that any of the views are spectacular, they are not, most views in nature are likely to be better. Nor is it the size of the lakes or their designs, they are tiny and probably more functional than anything else. And sometimes it smells of decay due to the decomposting of organic material.
The magic lies in something that is difficult to explain, but in short it is an oasis in the middle of an urban environment. A small working eco-system, where “wild” animals live side by side with humans; each is tolerant of the other. Most people there respect the animals and just enjoy watching them. The magic is in the co-existence of its stakeholders (animals, plants, people) in that environment and making it their own. It is making a potentially dead and boring space, exciting and alive.
Wo-Built Inc. - Innovative Design and Build
2012 @ Martina Ernst