City Light new adoptee of the Pollinator Pathway

(August 17, 2015) — Seattle City Light is partnering with the Office of Arts & Culture to work with design thinker Sarah Bergmann to create a plan to develop City Light’s Creston­ Duwamish transmission line right­ of ­way, a 60 acre, 14 mile long power line corridor stretching from south Seattle to Tukwila, as a Pollinator Pathway.

The Pollinator Pathway project is Bergmann’s response to the Anthropocene, or Age of Humankind, during which we have fundamentally altered the ecological landscape of the planet. The project is a proposal to thoughtfully and intentionally design a lasting ecological system, crossing design, culture, ecology and planning. The Pollinator Pathway challenges us to connect the current fragmentation of ecosystems with planned connections between existing green spaces, designing ecological exchange between human systems and those designed by other species.

“The Creston ­Duwamish Line project is an ideal incubator to demonstrate how transmission corridors can contribute to a healthier global ecology,” said Rory Denovan, a senior environmental analyst for City Light. “We take great pride in being the nation’s greenest utility and we view The Pollinator Pathway’s criteria as a challenge we can meet.”

Bergmann is creating a set of criteria and principles for connectivity and ecology for City Light to meet in the landscape design of the transmission line. Bergmann has engaged design firm Mithun and the conservation organization Xerces Society to provide oversight and guidance as City Light works to achieve Pollinator Pathway status.

“The Pollinator Pathway pushes institutions to design as an integral part of the earth’s ecosystem,” says Bergmann. “This change in perspective will have a profound impact as agencies like City Light focus on long ­term plans that create a foundation and new standard for supporting ecological exchange and biodiversity in the world we see today. Participants in the Pollinator Pathway are contributing to a new ecosystem in a global story about nature in our time. I view this as a cultural story—and a scientific one. The Pollinator Pathway challenges us to connect fragmented landscape in a response to the Anthropocene—a newly proposed epoch where all of earth’s systems have been touched by humanity. Nature is not “over there”—it is us.”