Notes on the reading: The Meadowlands: Wilderness Adventures on the Edge of a City
I really found the proximity of the meadowlands to New York City, easily one of the biggest cities in the world, to be astounding. It sounds like a major mess, the epitome of man versus nature. There is garbage scattered throughout the meadowlands, and yet still there is beauty in the resilience of the nature still living there. All of the different projects and developments once attempted there have been abandoned in some fashion or another. Sullivan seems to be battling with himself on how he feels about the meadowlands. At some points he has very positive descriptors, and at other points, not so much. I think that truly illustrates the state of the land: it is both good and bad.
The Trouble with Wilderness; or, Getting Back to the Wrong Nature
I thought it was a fair point that Cronon brought up the fact that the very conception of wilderness is a human conception- even though many think of the wilderness as being human-free. He also writes about a historical shift in the connotation behind ‘wilderness.’ Once it was a placed feared and entered begrudgingly, but once Thoreau wrote about it, wilderness became something protected and wanted. Cronon goes on, with adoration for other authors and their work capturing the essence of things that are ‘wild.’ I also appreciate how he has talked about the removal of native Americans as a US attempt at creating wilderness
Personal Introduction: Hi, my name is Kayla Adolph and I am a junior majoring in geography and politics and government. I’m from Toledo, OH, but during the school year I reside and moderate the Citizens of the World House.
Ideas for class project:
- Group planting! I think I heard of a Chinese proverb that says the best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is today. While I have seen a lot some projects adding native plants to the campus landscape, I think it would be a great idea to have a discussion tackling the stigma of native plants being ‘dirty,’ ‘weeds,’ or ‘cheap.’
- Work with the University on encouraging staff and students to reduce energy consumption by campaigning to have academic buildings turn their lights off after business hours.
- In the anti-smoking campaign that has been running on campus, I think it would be interesting to clean up cigarette butts, record their location and number and upcycle them through Terracycle. After that, we could campaign on the environmental dangers of cigarettes/cigars/ and vapes.
Environmental news item or other bit of interest:
Interesting to know and also helpful in coming up with project ideas: It turns out cigarette butts are the greatest source of ocean trash. I appreciate the nod towards the anti-plastic straw movement, and the acknowledgement of the evolution of the production of cigarettes.
As it turns out British motorists want diesel vehicles banned in cities. I think that it’s really cool that a given group of people are so aware of daily pollutants that they want to make such a change.