I did my early research on The Pollinator Pathway at the New York Public Library back in 2007. It is one of my favorite buildings in the United States. I’m in NYC for a couple weeks, so naturally I am gravitating here again. Autumn is for reading and writing.
On that note, here is a piece that you may appreciate (Extinction, by Ashley Dawson): https://blog.longreads.com/2016/08/04/mass-extinction-the-early-years/
This is must-read story about the Pollinator Pathway from Atlas Obscura.
This piece does excellent work in taking down the save-the-honeybee story a notch or two, and helping explain how it came into being. I want to make one thing very clear, though: the Pollinator Pathway is not a farm project. It is an ecology and design project. Think of it like a counter-landscape to domesticated systems.
More broadly, though (and, as the article touches on, I’ve had little opportunity to talk about this with a honeybee-obsessed press) the Pollinator Pathway is a project about long time, the Anthropocene, systems, design, social organization, and the future of nature. I started this project in 2008, in order to bring about the idea that we are now a major ecosystem—and that we need to design a different sort of relationship between ourselves and the planet. As Charles Mudede touches on in his recent Stranger piece, “our long-term survival depends on reintegrating human wants (and waste) with other life processes.”
Charles Mudede from The Stranger wrote this wonderful piece about the Pollinator Pathway.
“The thing I better grasped when reading for the third time James Shapiro’s difficult but stimulating little book Evolution: A View from the 21st Century is that life is profoundly intelligent. Meaning, intelligence is not only found in the heads of humans, but also in the roots and leaves of trees, and the movements of microorganisms, and even the inner workings or the most basic units of life. One can go as far as to say that the key feature of life is conscious action. Put another way: life always makes decisions. And not just life as a form, but also its processes. “Life requires cognition at all levels,” writes Shapiro.”
“The Pollinator Pathway presents a way to design pollinators to provide services not to just humans but to many other forms of life that also have needs. This makes sense because we now live in the Anthropocene, the age of humans. Our long-term survival depends on reintegrating human wants (and waste) with other life processes. Pollinator Pathway is designed to reverse what certain environmentally minded Marxists call metabolic rift.”
It is that time of year! The Pollinator Pathway is participating in Give Big tomorrow—a one day event where all your donations are stretched by the Seattle Foundation. You can donate to this project here: https://givebig.seattlefoundation.org/npo/the-pollinator-pathway
Thanks to the excellent Alan Maskin of Olson Kundig architects for featuring Sarah Bergmann and The Pollinator Pathway in today’s Friday Five on Design Milk!
Enormous thanks to the EPA for coming down to The Pollinator Pathway this week to tidy the gardens for spring 2016! Extra thanks to our extraordinary gardener and community fellow Rowan for also joining us. You are all the best!
Happy to share that Sarah Bergmann will be speaking at the Natural Capital symposium at Stanford in March. More details to follow—hope to see you there.
(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.”
You can find out more about the project via Sarah Bergmann’s recent TEDx talk:
Thank you! With your generous help, the Pollinator Pathway met its goal. You are incredible, and I cannot thank you enough for your support of this important interdisciplinary project.
Big thanks to the Seattle Foundation for supporting so many organizations, and for stretching all GiveBIG donations!
If you missed the big day, and would still like to contribute to the Pollinator Pathway, you can donate here: http://www.pollinatorpathway.com/support/
Enormous thanks to the supporters of this campaign.
A special thanks to Swansons, for your early match!
The Pollinator Pathway