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Posts Tagged ‘park’

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Photos: Recycled Island Foundation
This prototype for a floating park in Rotterdam is open to the public. It’s made of recycled plastic and is welcoming to many species, including homo sapiens (who is less than sapiens, it would seem, considering ongoing planet damage).

With the activities of humankind causing animal populations to decline 60 percent since 1970 and massive loss of essential insect species, I’m looking everywhere for more leadership in the environmental arena. So far, what I find are relatively small activities of isolated groups. But thank goodness for that! Small activities add up.

Jeremy Berke writes at Business Insider, “Rotterdam’s Floating Park — which is now open to visitors, though the park is just a prototype of what may become a much larger installation — is made out of plastic recycled from Rotterdam’s waterways.

“The recycled plastic is constructed into hexagonal pods, which mimic the landscape of Rotterdam’s Maas River before humans altered the landscape, according to the Recycled Island Foundation, the group behind the park.

“The pods can be used to create gardens, as habitat for wildlife, or for chilling out, and they can be molded into different seating arrangements.

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The Recycled Island Foundation says the park’s plastic hexagons were designed to provide habitat for native waterbirds, plants, fish, and even algae.

“On top of that, plastic dumped into the city’s canals is collected by ‘litter traps,’ which prevent plastic from flowing into the ocean.”

Pretty sure that dynamic and broadly effective leadership in the global-warming arena is going to come from people who are now only teenagers or even in middle school. Kids know what’s what.

More at Business Insider, here.

A litter trap in Rotterdam collects plastic waste, which can be recycled to make a floating park.

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Photo: Martin Kaste/NPR
Tempelhof, a German airfield once used for the Berlin airlift, is now a big, open park featuring recreational activities and temporary housing for refugees.

I recently learned that Germany has a reputation for repurposing old buildings in ways that maintain aspects of historical significance. That seems to be true of how the country is adapting an old airfield to modern uses.

Sam Shead reported at Business Insider, “Berlin is a city full of abandoned buildings with long and troublesome histories. But one building has been through more turmoil than most: Tempelhof Airport. …

“Tempelhof has been used to test some of the world’s first aircraft, house World War II prisoners, and give the people of West Berlin a vital lifeline to the outside world during the Cold War. It’s also been used to film movies such as ‘The Hunger Games,’ ‘The Bourne Supremacy,’ and ‘Bridge of Spies.’ …

“Tempelhof was designed to wow visitors to the new Third Reich capital of Germania. It represents the monumental thinking behind Nazi architecture and it’s a landmark in civil engineering. …

“Berliners flocked to the airfield to see early airships and balloons being tested. It was here, for example, that the Humboldt balloon was launched on its maiden voyage on March 1, 1893. …

“At the end of World War II, the US, British, French, and Soviet military forces divided and occupied Germany. Berlin, which was also divided into occupation zones, was located far inside Soviet-controlled eastern Germany.

“There was initially an alliance between the Western Allies and the Soviet Union in Berlin, but on June 24, 1948, the Soviet forces blockaded rail, road, and water access to parts of Berlin that were controlled by the Western Allies.

” ‘The United States and United Kingdom responded by airlifting food and fuel to Berlin from Allied airbases in western Germany,’ the US Office of The Historian website says. ‘The crisis ended on May 12, 1949, when Soviet forces lifted the blockade on land access to western Berlin.’ …

“The airport eventually ended up with many of the things that are commonplace in airports today, such as restaurants.” Shead adds that the airfield is now used by “kite surfers, rollerbladers, allotment enthusiasts, artists, cyclists, joggers, jugglers, batton twirlers, and dancers. …

“Tempelhof is also home to Germany’s largest refugee shelter. There were 3,000 refugees from countries like Iraq and Syria living in a hangar at one point, but that number has fallen to about 600 as German authorities have relocated many of them, while others have returned home. There is enough space in the hangar for 7,000 refugees. … The shelter is closed to the public, but there is a refugee cafe in Hanger 1 the public can visit and provide German lessons.”

I must say, I like to think how very unhappy the WW II owners of this airfield would be about that. Justice served.

More at Business Insider, here.

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Nordens Ark

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Photo: Nordens Ark
Nordens Ark in western Sweden is dedicated to protecting and preserving endangered species.

Two of my grandchildren had a happy time this summer at a Swedish park that is dedicated to protecting and preserving endangered species. The children’s Swedish grandmother told me that the pony rides and other attractions draw families in to Nordens Ark and then get them interested in supporting the sustainability mission.

From the paark’s website: “Nordens Ark is a private non-profit foundation that works to ensure endangered animals have a future. We are engaged in conservation, rearing, research and training, as well as doing what we can to increase public awareness of biological diversity. Much of our work is done in the field, both in Sweden and overseas.

“We strive to strengthen populations of at-risk species by releasing individuals into the wild, and by improving the habitats in which they live. In Sweden, Nordens Ark has national responsibility for breeding and releasing, among others, the peregrine falcon, white-backed woodpecker, lesser white-fronted goose, green toad and several beetle species.

“Since the turn of the millennium hundreds of mammals and birds born at Nordens Ark have been released into nature, among them otters in Holland, European wildcats in Germany and lynxes in Poland. We have reinforced the Swedish peregrine falcon population with more than 175 individuals, and Sweden’s amphibian population with some 10,000 animals.”

More at the website, here. Sweden Tips lists the park in its survey of Sweden’s best zoos. If you want to visit Nordens Park, you can also find lots of enthusiastic comments at Trip Advisor, including “a fantastic place for a photographer” and a recommendation to come at feeding time.

Someone I know, 3-1/2, took a pony ride at Nordens Ark in Bohuslän, Sweden, this summer. The park encompasses more than [900 acres] and includes pastureland, woodland and animal facilities.
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Photos: Bo Zhao
Boston has put a colorful park under Interstate 93. Bright lights, art, 24-hour security, and an ever changing array of events are expected to connect communities that the highway long divided.

When I had a chunk of free time at my last job, I’d take a walk over to an artsy part of Boston called SoWa, for “South of Washington Street.” It was a place of antique dealers, a homeless shelter, art galleries, and farmers markets.

As interesting as SoWa was, it abutted a bleak wasteland under Interstate 93. People had to walk under there — I walked under there — because the highway divided the neighborhood. But it was creepy.

Saturday saw the opening of an unusual park under the highway. I wasn’t there, but a former colleague who manages to see everything of interest in the city got a kick out of it, commenting that he was surprised to find the park is so near Boston’s public Harbor Walk. He shared his photos here.

at the Daily Free Press provided the background. “National Development, the developer of Ink Block, is partnering with Reebok to make the project a reality. The park, which was originally an 8-acre underpass between South Boston and the South End, will feature a pedestrian and bicycle boardwalk, 175 parking spaces for local businesses and a mural wall, according to the release.

“Ted Tye, the managing partner at National Development, said the park was originally supposed to be a plain, normal park when the Massachusetts Department of Transportation started on the project across the street from where their Ink Block brand is located. Once National Development gained access to the project; however, the idea changed. …

“Tye said the idea behind incorporating the murals, which was curated by Street Theory, artistic duo Victor ‘Marka27’ Quiñonez and Liza Quiñonez, was to appeal to companies and younger generations looking to find their start in Boston. …

“Tye said, ‘It makes it really an exciting, new destination, a new playground in the city, and we’ll be extending that not just with our opening event [September 9] but looking into next year with some really great programming.’

“Another reason for opening the park, Tye said, is to connect the neighboring communities of South Boston and the South End and to make the area surrounding the Broadway Bridge safer to walk.

“ ‘By filling in this area with a place that’s well-lit, with a place that will have 24-hour security, with a place that will have lots of people, and activity, and music and art — it makes that gap a lot shorter,’ Tye said. ‘The people that are moving into the Ink Block area are now feeling really good about walking to South Boston, about using the Broadway T station, and it just really connects the two communities.’

“Sneha ‘IMAGINE876’ Shrestha, a Boston-based artist who is contributing to the mural wall described her style as ‘mindful mantras in [her] native language where [she meshes] the aesthetics of Sanskrit scriptures with graffiti influences.’

“Shrestha wrote in an email she wanted to give back to the Boston community as it was the first place she was exposed to the art of graffiti.

“ ‘As a kid from Nepal, I didn’t grow up seeing graffiti or much of any sort of art,’ Shrestha said. …

“Shrestha wrote the location of Underground at Ink Block excited her because it was near her first employer Artists for Humanity, a nonprofit which works to employ under-resourced urban youth interested in art and design, according to their website.

“ ‘My first job out of college was at Artists for Humanity and this is where I realized the effect of art on young people and how I can contribute to being an agent of positive change through art,’ Shrestha said. ‘It feels full circle in a lot of ways to have a mural here as my token of gratitude to this place.’ ”

Tim Logan at the Boston Globe, wondered whether getting to the park will be too challenging for people who are not going between the neighborhoods anyway.

He writes, “Drawing people to a place like this takes work, said Bob Uhlig, president of the Boston landscape architecture firm Halvorson Design. Color will help, he said; so will good lighting. Filling the place with popular, consistent programming will go a long way toward making it a destination, much as the Lawn on D has become, he added.

“ ‘That really adds another level of vibrancy, having something programmed on a regular basis,’ Uhlig said. ‘You want to get people to come back, repeatedly.’

“And, he said, you want the locals to use it. There’s a row of big buildings going up just a block away along Harrison Avenue, which will add thousands of residents to a corner of the city with relatively little park space. This is a chance to create some, even if it’s below a highway.”

More at the Free Press, here, and at the Globe, here.

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I thought I’d collect some early-winter images, but an out-of-season iris decided to redefine early winter for me. The iris loves that Dunkin Donuts brick wall so much it decided to bloom. Then the temperatures went down into the teens.

The USS Concord (1923-1947) had a bell that the town acquired and put on display in a public ceremony shortly after Veterans Day this year. I enjoyed watching the evolution of the pocket park that hosts the bell and was amazed by what a deep hole had to be dug for the pedestal support.

The unusual “Lost & Found for the People” is beside the path that runs down the middle of Blackstone Boulevard in Providence. (I hope that “the people” will find what they lost soon.)

The next picture is of the daily dog-walker gathering at Emerson Field, where I was delighted by a message nestled in the roots of a tree: “Just do right.”

The veggie colors spoke to me of Christmas.

The gingerbread house competition is at the Colonial Inn and will be up until January 1. The last gingerbread house is in the library. It all makes a person want to try her hand at some decorative baking.

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https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30992410-such-mad-fun

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30992410-such-mad-fun

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30992410-such-mad-fun

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30992410-such-mad-fun

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30992410-such-mad-fun

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30992410-such-mad-fun

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From time to time I hear about a growing interest in play areas that focus less on safety and more on creativity and fending for yourself. Safety has always been important to me, but maybe children (grownups, too) get in more trouble when they leave the safety issues to authorities. Maybe there’s something to be said for learning to handle tricky situations by being in tricky situations.

In any case, woodland nursery schools, wild parks, and junky playgrounds are getting attention.

Amy Fusselman, adapting her book Savage Park for the Atlantic, describes her family’s reaction to a wild park in Japan.

“As the eight of us walked, first up a slight dirt hill, then past a gaggle of unlocked bicycles, we smelled it: smoke. The smell became stronger as we went ahead. We followed it until at last we were all standing beside a traditional Japanese hut that was perched atop a downward-sloping one-acre patch of dirt and trees.

“The hut’s front porch was completely overflowing with crap, including a pink-painted piano at which a girl, five, was sitting and playing a John Cage-ian ditty. It was a strangely radiant sound to be hearing as we stood there looking down through the smoke—we could see it as well as smell it now—to the smoke’s source: open fires.

“There were three of them. At one, a boy about eight years old was kneeling, poking at the flames with paper fans; at another, a father was sitting and roasting marshmallows with his toddler son. A third fire seemed to be unattended. …

“We stood there, dumbfounded, staring at the dirt and trees and the structures that were woven around and between them, structures that were clearly not made in any place where safety surfacing had ever been a subject of serious discussion. These were structures that looked like what remained when my sons decided to build an airport out of Legos and then abandoned the project halfway through, only these half-made baggage carts and control towers were much larger and crafted not from nicely interlocking plastic rectangles but from scraps of wood and nails. …

“At one point, I looked up at the trees. I was astonished to see that there were children in them. The more I looked, the more children I saw. There were children 15 feet high in the air. …

“I sat on a log, eating warm, white gooey marshmallows. The park was around us, and the trees were around us, and the dirt was around us, and the smoke, and the music. The children were in the trees, and were flying in the air. We stayed there as long as we could.”

More here.

Photo: Associated Press

 

 

 

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This was posted at an Arlington blog last May, but I just saw the sculpture it refers to.

“You are invited to watch the ladybugs for the Waldo Park Tree Sculpture being made right before your eyes … Work by artists has already begun to transform a tall tree stump on the hill in Waldo Park … into multimedia sculpture that features local birds, animals and insects. The Friends of Waldo Park are holding two community participation days as this work is created. …

“Watch the metal-smiths at work as they cast aluminum ladybugs to be bolted onto the tree sculpture. Stop by for however long you’d like to see how metal-casting is done!” More.

Note the metal ladybugs crawling up the trunk, the bunnies peeking out from inside, and the hawk on top.

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