Ground 39 - Fall 2017 – Spontaneous

Page 1

39

Landscape Architect Quarterly

Features Desire and Public Space

09/

Disasters that Shape Us

10/

Biophobia

12/

Feral Gardens

14/

Publication # 40026106

Control and Constraints

Fall 2017 Issue 39

20/


Masthead

.39

Editor Lorraine Johnson

2017 OALA Governing Council

Photo Editor Zhebing Chen

President Doris Chee

OALA Editorial Board Julius Aquino Shannon Baker Jasper Flores Eric Gordon Ruthanne Henry (chair) Vincent Javet Eric Klaver James Nelson MacDonald Phil Pothen Katie Strang Andrew Taylor Beatrice Saraga Taylor Dalia Todary-Michael Jane Welsh

Vice President Jane Welsh

Web Editor Jennifer Foden Associate Web Editor Julius Aquino Art Direction/Design www.typotherapy.com Advertising Inquiries advertising@oala.ca 416.231.4181 Cover Reconciliation, by Barbara Eguchi, OALA. See page 12. Ground: Landscape Architect Quarterly is published four times a year by the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects. Ontario Association of Landscape Architects 3 Church Street, Suite 506 Toronto, Ontario M5E 1M2 416.231.4181 www.oala.ca oala@oala.ca Copyright © 2017 by the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects All rights reserved ISSN: 0847-3080 Canada Post Sales Product Agreement No. 40026106 See www.groundmag.ca to download articles and share content on social media.

Treasurer Kendall Flower Secretary Stefan Fediuk Past President Sarah Culp Councillors Steve Barnhart Cynthia Graham Cameron Smith

OALA

OALA

­About­

About the OALA­

Ground: Landscape Architect Quarterly is published by the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects and provides an open forum for the exchange of ideas and information related to the profession of landscape architecture. Letters to the editor, article proposals, and feedback are encouraged. For submission guidelines, contact Ground at magazine@oala.ca. Ground reserves the right to edit all submissions. The views expressed in the magazine are those of the writers and not necessarily the views of the OALA and its Governing Council.

The Ontario Association of Landscape Architects works to promote and advance the profession of landscape architecture and maintain standards of professional practice consistent with the public interest. The OALA promotes public understanding of the profession and the advancement of the practice of landscape architecture. In support of the improvement and/or conservation of the natural, cultural, social and built environments, the OALA undertakes activities including promotion to governments, professionals and developers of the standards and benefits of landscape architecture.

Upcoming Issues of Ground Ground 40 (Winter) The North

Erratum­

Associate Councillor—Senior Justin Whalen Associate Councillor—Junior Trish Clarke

Due to a production error in Ground 38 (Summer 2017), on page 26, Maren Walker was incorrectly identified at the 2017 winner of the OALA Jack Copeland Award for Associate Leadership and Contribution. Maren was in fact the 2016 winner of this award. The 2017 winner of the OALA Jack Copeland Award for Associate Leadership and Contribution is Justin Whalen. For more information about Justin and the award, see page 25 of Ground 38.

Lay Councillor Linda Thorne Appointed Educator University of Toronto Peter North Appointed Educator University of Guelph Brendan Stewart University of Toronto Student Representative Leonard Flot University of Guelph Student Representative Jenny Trinh OALA Staff Executive Director Aina Budrevics Registrar Ingrid Little Coordinator Sarah Manteuffel

Advisory Panel

Andrew B. Anderson, BLA, MSc. World Heritage Management Landscape & Heritage Expert, Oman Botanic Garden John Danahy, OALA, Associate Professor, University of Toronto George Dark, OALA, FCSLA, ASLA, Principal, Urban Strategies Inc., Toronto Real Eguchi, OALA, Eguchi Associates Landscape Architects, Toronto Donna Hinde, OALA, FCSLA, Partner, The Planning Partnership, Toronto Ryan James, OALA, Senior Landscape Architect, Novatech, Ottawa Alissa North, OALA, Associate Professor, University of Toronto, Principal of North Design Office, Toronto Peter North, OALA, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto, Principal of North Design Office, Toronto Nathan Perkins, MLA, PhD, ASLA, Associate Professor, University of Guelph Victoria Taylor, OALA, Principal, Victoria Taylor Landscape Architect, Toronto Jim Vafiades, OALA, FCSLA, Senior Landscape Architect, Stantec, Toronto

.39

TO view additional content related to Ground articles, Visit www.groundmag.ca.


Contents

President’s Message

Editorial Board Message

03/

Up Front Information on the ground

President’s Message

Editorial Board Message

It’s near the end of another exciting and wonderful year in which we made tremendous strides toward practice legislation, while continuing to support other vital programs. The OALA is stronger than ever.

The theme of this issue of Ground is Spontaneous— something that our publication schedule makes it difficult for the Editorial Board to be! However, we hope you’ll enjoy our coverage of spontaneous elements or inventions that enrich our experience of landscape.

Spontaneous: Desire and Public Space ­

09/

Text by JAKE TOBIN GARRETT

Disasters that Shape Us

10/

TEXT AND MAP BY JAMES MACDONALD AND KATIE STRANG

Biophobia

12/

TEXT BY REAL EGUCHI, OALA

Feral Gardens ­

14/

Text and photographs by JOAQUIN SEVILLANO

Speaking Up and Out ­

16/

Text by ERIC KLAVER, OALA

To Roam or Not to Roam

18/

Text by VINCENT RACINE

Control and Constraints

Last year, we asked all OALA members to step up and reach out to your MPPs and talk with everyone you know about landscape architecture and landscape architects. You didn’t disappoint. Members of the Practice Legislation Committee worked tirelessly to make sure that we have crossed all our Ts and dotted every I. We engaged with our allied professionals and discussed our work, and, in the end, we created supporting connections and understanding. We met with the Premier’s staff and the Attorney General and discussed how landscape architects are the professionals who can help mitigate the effects of climate change and protect our environment as we move towards a balanced, sustainable future. We engaged Mills & Mills LLP to draft a new Act and to ensure that we have not forgotten our rights and those we serve. We followed guidance from Brown & Cohen Communications & Public Affairs Inc. so that doors in the Ontario legislature are opened to us.

20/

COMPILED BY THE GROUND EDITORIAL BOARD

Putting Happiness into Practice

22/

TEXT BY ANDREW TAYLOR

HATCH: Art in the City

23/

TEXT BY DALIA TODARY-MICHAEL

LandMarks2017/Repères2017

24/

Plant Corner KAYANASE: Restoring Mother Earth Sheila Boudreau, OALA, and Dr. Bonnie McElhinny interview Carole Smith of Kayanase: Restoring Mother Earth

Research Corner Where the wild plants are

30/

Thanks to the volunteer efforts of Editorial Board member Julius Aquino, working with Ground’s Web Editor, Jennifer Foden, with this issue we are launching a greatly expanded suite of online materials to complement the print edition. The icon at the end of articles indicates that there is supplementary content in the online version of Ground, which can be found at www.groundmag.ca. Ruthanne Henry, OALA Chair, Editorial Board magazine@oala.ca

TEXT BY shannon baker, oala

26/

Perhaps the proudest moment was seeing our members and so many MPPs all in one room at Queen’s Park on April 11th, engaged in conversation about landscape architecture and landscape architects. I know they understood, as three MPPs from the three major parties stood before the crowd and acknowledged the work that we do. As the President of the OALA, I am humbled by the professionalism, the engaging character, and the wealth of information our members have.

Every once in a while, effective groups need to take pause and look at their processes, reviewing what works and what can be improved. The Ground Editorial Board recently gathered for a retreat to consider the magazine’s vision and mandate, current directions, format, future content, and digital opportunities. In the coming issues or through e-blasts and social media, expect to be engaged for your input on an updated Ground vision, and your input on digital directions. We always look forward to hearing from you!

Text by J.L. MCCUNE

Notes A miscellany of news and events

When we began this journey some five years ago, we tread strategically with the strides we took, and it’s paid off. The journey has only just started and I’m hopeful for our future. I would like to take this moment to thank everyone who volunteered their time and effort in achieving what we have today. It is you who make us all proud! Doris Chee, OALA oala President president@oala.cA

01

32/

Artifact Embodied infrastructure­ TEXT by lorraine Johnson 42/

Fall 2017 Issue 39

01/

The Ground Editorial Board recently ­ gathered for a retreat to consider ­ future directions.

IMAGE/

Asha Henry


Section

02

.30

Grange Park/Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto Collaborators: PFS Studio (Prime Consultant & Lead Designer — Park and Playground), thinc design (Local Landscape Architect), Earthscape (Playground Design & Build)

FPO

EARTHSCAPE is a single-source for designing, building and installing custom play sculptures and structures. We have worked with some of the most prestigious Landscape Architecture firms in North America to bring brilliant playground concepts to life.

earthscapeplay.com ● 1.877.269.2972


Up Front

03

.39

01

water of the Humber while also providing a food source and medicinal value to humans. When talking about planting selections such as mint, Colley emphasizes the importance of the questions, “What are you going to use and what are you going to have a relationship with?”

Tours

indigenous teaching Started in 2012 by Alan Colley, Toronto Aboriginal Eco Tours (described on Colley’s business card as “guided eco tours infused with Aboriginal culture for urban explorers”) takes groups into Toronto’s urban wilderness and provides an educational experience focused on Indigenous environmental teachings. Colley primarily uses the banks of the Rouge, Humber, and Don rivers as his teaching grounds, where he aims to demonstrate nature’s integrated systems and “connect people with local green spaces.” Colley’s tours follow the Indigenous calendar of a thirteen moon lunar cycle and four-season year. He explains that “each of these four seasons holds their own unique teachings,” and, as such, he runs his tours

Up Front: Information on the Ground

02

according to what can be learned from each season. In addition to the variation in his seasonally based tours, Colley offers a range of tour types: water-based, landbased, and history-based tours. Colley uses the Naadmaagit Ki Group’s restoration sites along the Humber River as sites for teaching. The Naadmaagit Ki Group (NKG), a Toronto-based organization, reinstates sites of disturbed land back to their natural state through Indigenous principles, knowledge, and practice. Along the shores of the Humber, NKG introduces Indigenous gardens, plants, medicinal species; fights invasives; and restores shoreline plantings. Using the example of restorative mint plantings along the Humber, Colley emphasizes the importance of a balanced and reciprocal relationship between humans and nature. He explains that mint can serve as a herb that naturally stabilizes pH and purifies the

Hands-on learning is a key feature of Alan Colley’s teaching. He believes that, alongside traditional Indigenous teaching methods, it is important for people to gain a tactile experience in order to fully develop their relationship with nature. For example, eating plants in Toronto’s urban wild is a key element of Colley’s land-based tours, and he encourages participants to eat edible species that they encounter throughout the tour. Furthermore, one of the highlights of his water-based tours involves Colley wading into the river and catching a fish with his bare hands. He also allows participants to cast into the river and reel in their own catch. Colley sees this as a means to create a new

01-02/

Alan Colley, founder of Toronto Aboriginal Eco Tours, takes groups into Toronto’s urban wilderness for experiential learning based on Indigenous teachings.

IMAGES/

Courtesy of Toronto Aboriginal Eco Tours

TO view additional content related to this Ground article, Visit www.groundmag.ca.


Up Front

.39

04

03

bond to a food source. Through the act of fishing, he introduces traditional Indigenous methods of handling fish and appropriate cultural protocols for catch and release. Colley compares our experience as individual humans to the life of a plant growing out of a crack in the concrete. He believes that “there are so many teachings that can be inspired by a plant,” and that, like a plant growing out of a crack, “we have our limitations, but we also have the opportunity for growth despite the conditions of our confinement.” Colley thinks it is important to recognize this condition of individuality but likewise to realize that, as individuals, “we are interwoven with everything around us and we can develop a better relationship the more we connect.” Colley believes that there is much to be hopeful about, and that through initiatives such as the Naadmaagit Ki Group restoration sites, “we are able to move in the right direction of a better relationship with urban wilderness.” This sense of optimism is clear when Colley speaks passionately about Toronto’s urban ecosystem and its inherent potential. His Toronto Aboriginal Eco Tours provide a platform for him to share his knowledge and spread his teachings in order to inspire a new generation of stewards in Toronto’s urban wild. For more information on Colley’s Toronto Aboriginal Eco Tours, please visit his website, www.taet.ca. Text by Lisa Gregory, a Landscape Architectural Intern at the City of Mississauga and a member of 1:1 Collaborative.

03/

Colley with a group of York University students who are learning about the Humber River at the site of a temporary gathering structure

IMAGE/

Lorraine Johnson

04-06/

The organization Trees Please Hamilton works with volunteers to monitor and improve environmental conditions in Hamilton.

IMAGES/

Courtesy of Trees Please Hamilton

04

education, and plant identification, and Environment Hamilton, an agency largely focused on shoreline restoration, greening neighbourhoods, and air quality monitoring. With deep roots in the citizen science movement, Trees Please Hamilton is starting to get more traction in the community and, with its two more established partners, reach more Hamilton-area residents eager to get involved, learn new skills, and enact positive change in their communities.

05 Trees

a hamilton initiative Downtown Hamilton has the worst air quality in the province, according to Cancer Care Ontario’s 2016 Prevention System Quality Index. Trees Please Hamilton is trying to change that dubious distinction. A joint initiative between the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club and Environment Hamilton, the mandate of Trees Please Hamilton is to improve the city’s air quality, mitigate the effects of climate change, and enhance the aesthetics and quality of life in Hamilton. In service of these goals, Trees Please Hamilton has embarked on an integrated strategy of monitoring air quality, inventorying trees, and, more recently, facilitating the planting of new trees. Trees Please Hamilton emerged out of the combined work of the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club, which has traditionally been engaged in activities including bird counts, field

Leading an Air and Tree Task Force, which counts several City of Hamilton departments as members, including Forestry Hamilton, Public Health, and Planning, along with several non-profit organizations, Trees Please Hamilton is deeply engaged in urban forestry issues and promoting the city’s street tree program. A major goal of this multi-stakeholder partnership is the development of an urban forestry strategy. As Juby Lee, Project Manager alongside Carolyn Zanchetta of Trees Please Hamilton, notes, “People have concerns about the management of private trees, but there is no recourse to action without an urban forestry strategy.” Trees Please Hamilton encourages Hamilton residents to take ownership of what is happening in their neighbourhoods and recognize that stewardship is in their hands. Relying largely on volunteers, Trees Please Hamilton provides training on the use of Environment Hamilton’s air monitors, which collect information on the levels of particulate matter in Hamilton’s air. Environment Hamilton’s “Stacks Watch” and “Dust Busters” programs are parallel and comple-


Up Front mentary initiatives that also empower residents and community members to observe, record, and report visible pollution emissions, putting pressure on industry to comply with health and safety standards. Trees Please Hamilton provides training in tree identification and employs a digital database, Open Tree Map, in which tree inventory data is consolidated. The resulting data sets are then layered to identify hot spots for intervention. Trees Please Hamilton also offers various workshops and walkabouts in communities to discuss their findings and teach basic skills, including how to grow trees from seed and strategic tree-planting around buildings to conserve energy. Tree inventorying generally takes place in the spring, four times a week; twice in two different neighbourhoods with each inventory group comprising four to six people. Trees Please Hamilton has identified six priority neighbourhoods in Hamilton’s downtown where they currently conduct the majority of their work; these are areas in which they have had the most interest from residents. Currently focused on the neigbourhoods of McQuestern and Crown Point, the group works closely with Forestry Hamilton, as this agency regularly conducts site visits to determine areas that are deficient in, or wellpositioned to benefit from, tree planting.

05

.39

In 2016, Trees Please Hamilton planted approximately 1,000 trees in partnership with Forestry Hamilton. The trees were primarily native species in 3-gallon pots, a manageable size for residents to plant themselves. In 2017, funding through a Canada150 grant enabled a tree giveaway to private residents. The giveaway included shrubs as well as trees, as not every site had adequate space for a tree. “This was a great opportunity to grow the urban forest,” in Lee’s opinion, “because people who own trees care for them.” Starting their work in April 2016, Trees Please Hamilton has had an overwhelmingly positive impact to date, according to Lee: “Raising awareness of the importance of trees and creating a space for a dialogue about air quality and how both relate to an enhanced quality of health and life, is really the baseline of what we are trying to convey. People have responded very positively.” For more information about Trees Please Hamilton, visit www.treespleasehamilton.org. Text by Zahra Awang, who holds a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Toronto, where she has served as studio Adjunct Professor at the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design and guest critic for studio reviews; she currently works for Fox Whyte Landscape Architecture & Design and lives in Hamilton.

07-08/

Andrew Jones, who designed a chair for Battery Park in Manhattan, believes that furniture should not be additive but rather integral to the design of public spaces.

IMAGES/

Andrew Jones

07 Street Furniture

battery park chair What’s in a chair? Well, people—usually. But the seemingly utilitarian object also holds greater potential. Outdoor furnishings—chairs, benches, and other archetypal items—come in all shapes and sizes, and well-designed pieces are able to catalyze the transformation of public spaces. At least that’s what Toronto-based architect and furniture designer Andrew Jones demonstrated with his design submission in the Battery Conservancy Americas Design Competition 2012: Draw Up a Chair. Andrew Jones—the same designer behind the pink umbrellas at Toronto’s Sugar Beach—took home top prize with his design, Fleurt. The impressively simple, contemporary chair is loaded with subtleties that make it as effective in its function as it is in its form. Designed specifically for the competition in New York City’s Lower Manhattan Battery Park, the concept of the Fleurt chair—a figurative representation of the open blossom of a flower—came from “imagining how a field of chairs could poetically respond to the Battery Oval,” as Jones explains it, and how, in repetition, could reflect a flower-like garden across the 25-acre park. The design succeeds in providing originality while maintaining the functional aspects desired in public furnishings—i.e., convenience, storage, durability, and ease of maintenance. Regardless of the constraints, Jones endeavoured to “create a chair that was truly comfortable and would

06


Up Front

06

.39

08

be a pleasure to sit in for a few hours”—a point with which an overwhelming majority of the competition’s 4,000 public voters agreed. In approaching the design, Jones looked to the user. “Any [human] body is a series of convex curving forms. We’re round and, therefore, it always feels best to sit in concave forms which hold the natural shape of the body. The chair is one sweeping concave shell designed to cradle the body and feel great,” says Jones. The seating shell is made from sheet steel and is painted with a durable powder-coat finish. A light, stainless steel tube frame supports the shell, and in similar fashion to the stem of a flower, visually disappears into the lawn. The chairs are durable, easily stackable, and light. Transforming Battery Park into an active, social space where users can eat, observe, and operate under the poetic choreography of a field of flowers—the success of Andrew Jones’ chair illustrates how a simple, well-designed piece of furniture can transform a park. “The randomly arranged chairs create a playful pattern across the lawn like a field of flowers. When animated further by people, they paint a joyful and memorable scene,” says Jones. Not all designs receive such thoughtful consideration. It is by dividing up the world into design real estate that Jones feels we often miss the potential to create holistic places that bring all elements of an environment into play. “Outdoor furnishings are often generic products fixed within a site, without much thought for how some-

one or a group of people might best enjoy a particular spot,” Jones suggests. To foster holistic spaces, effective site furnishings work best when they respond to the full context of the site. In response to the park and its users, Jones explains that the Battery Oval itself was the inspiration for the design concept; he intended the chairs to be inseparable from the Battery lawn. Jones advocates for the need to change our thinking of furniture as additive and the last step in the design process. To quote Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino, “A bridge is not supported by one stone or another, but by the line of the arch that they form.” In much the same sense, site furnishings need to be considered upfront, as they are integral to the greater public space. Jones says, “A well-designed piece of public furniture—a bench, a light, or something as simple as a perching ledge—can create a perfect moment, a welcome bridge between the individual and the collective spirit of a place.” Without stones there is no arch. So, what’s in a chair? In part, it is the opportunity to create that perfect moment; that tangible element with a capacity to bridge the gap between user and place; and by which an entire composition can be transformed. Jones explains, “For me, a great design should feel effortless and inevitable.” Not unlike the blossoming of a flower. Text by Tim O’Brien, BAS, MLA, a Landscape Architectural Intern at IBI Group, Hamilton.

09 Green Space

advocating for protection There are fewer and fewer green spaces, especially those within city boundaries, and this makes the Hidden Valley, in the south end of Kitchener, a very special place. Consisting of approximately 140 acres that the Region of Waterloo has designated environmentally important, and roughly 60 acres of open fields, this environmentally significant area contains mixed forest, three Provincially Significant Wetlands, and protected areas for endangered species. The thousands of mature trees (maples, beech, ash, cherry, cedar, pine, hemlock, and spruce) provide shelter and nesting sites to more than 110 species of birds. Various animal species enjoy feeding in the open fields, while the wetlands afford a wonderful habitat and source of suitable shelter and nesting sites for birds. For approximately 15 years, Daphne and Gordon Nicholls of Kitchener have been petitioning to stop any development from taking place in Hidden Valley and to save this valuable property as a public space for all to enjoy. The Region of Waterloo has been designated by the provincial govern-


Up Front

07

.39

ment as a “Place to Grow,” and, as such, there is a desperate need to protect large tracts of green space. Most importantly, there is the need for a place where the growing population can enjoy nature. Also, green space within a city helps to clean the air and filter water; in the case of Kitchener, water filtered in the wetland of Hidden Valley enters the Grand River, an important source of drinking water.

Daphne Nicholls, who was an ardent naturalist and artist, was in the process of organizing her second art show to highlight the beauty of Hidden Valley when she passed away in August, 2016, from ovarian cancer. Her husband, Gordon, and many friends have dedicated their time to continuing her wishes in the hope that there can be a guaranteed protection of most, if not all, of Hidden Valley.

Extensive research has shown Hidden Valley to be a sanctuary for Jefferson’s salamander, little brown bats, and butternut trees, all of which are designated as endangered species at risk. There are also threatened species such as barn swallows and chimney swifts, and many species of concern (bald eagles, Canada warblers, common nighthawks, Eastern wood peewee, Eastern milk snake, monarch butterfly, and snapping turtle). Wildflowers are extensive and include the regionally significant fringed gentian and Wood’s sedge.

Whether it be the amazing vistas, the wonderful wildflowers, or the diversity of wildlife, many aspects of Hidden Valley make it deserving of protection. It will take public support and advocacy to save this emerald jewel in perpetuity. For some background information, visit https:// sites.google.com/site/hiddenvalleyorg/Home, and for more photos of Hidden Valley, visit http:// www.facebook.com/groups/HiddenValleyRevealed. Text by Anne Morgan, a retired biologist living in Waterloo and a keen gardener who encourages the creation and protection of wildlife habitat.

A very interesting geological feature of Hidden Valley is one of the last moderately intact eskers, a long sinuous ridge of pebbles and gravel left behind by the receding glaciers 13,000 years ago. Walks along this esker provide sweeping vistas of the wetlands and forests as well as the carpets of wildflowers in spring.

12

10 09/

Anne Morgan hiking on the esker in Hidden Valley, Kitchener

IMAGE/

Alan V. Morgan

10/

Bloodroot is just one of the many wildflowers that find a home in Hidden Valley.

IMAGE/

Alan V. Morgan

11/

Hepatica, a woodland ephemeral growing in Hidden Valley

IMAGE/

Alan V. Morgan

12/

Leopard frog in Hidden Valley

IMAGE/

Alan V. Morgan

11


Spontaneous

08

.39

09/

10/

12/ 14/

16/

18/

20/

22/

23/

24/


Desire and Public Space

09

.39

01

Text by Jake Tobin Garrett

Pick a rendering for a new park design. Any one will do. Maybe you see people walking. Maybe there is someone with a dog (on a leash, naturally). You may see a child running through a splash pad or on a swing. A woman on a cell phone sitting on a bench. A man reading.

02 01/

When secluded trails and forests of certain parks become popular for sexual activity, as has happened in Marie Curtis Park in Etobicoke, there are sometimes conflicts between users who are cruising for sex and users who are there for other activities.

IMAGE/

Secondarywaltz/Wikimedia Commons

02/

Wagner Cove in Central Park, New York City, is a popular spot for private weddings and elopements—sanctioned expressions of desire in public space.

IMAGE/

Wally Gobetz

03/

IMAGE/

In an autumn, 2016, police sting called “Project Marie,” undercover officers cruised Marie Curtis Park and, when propositioned, laid charges or wrote up citations against approximately 80 men. GTD Aquitaine/Wikimedia Commons

What you won’t see, ever, are two people having sex behind a tree. Because this is a park activity that we don’t talk about, let alone design for intentionally. But as with any design, there are the intended uses and then there are the unintended ones. A twisted piece of public art becomes a play structure. A ledge becomes a bench. A grove of trees and flowers becomes a place two people’s bodies can meet suddenly in the dark. Cruising parks to find sex, especially for men who have sex with men, is a use of parks that’s likely as old as public parks themselves—and one that is not going

03

away anytime soon, despite the best efforts of designers and planners to curb it by eliminating shrubs and dark corners as much as possible. It is like a plant that propagates underground—hacking off the visible part doesn’t stop it from simply popping up somewhere else. Park sex is resilient in its spontaneity, its ability to thrill. It’s an everyday space transformed into a secret world of desire where pathways snake off into hidden spots and eye contact is laden with meaning. We don’t design for it, but we cannot design it away either. People are clever about bending a space to suit their needs. And this is both the beauty and the challenge of public parks: that they are as much about the uses we design for, as the ones we don’t and can’t anticipate or control. BIO/ Jake Tobin Garrett is a writer in Toronto and manager of policy and planning for the charity park people.


Disasters that Shape Us

10

.39

Text and map by James MacDonald and Katie Strang

Seemingly spontaneous, unexpected natural disasters occur worldwide on a daily basis. In many cases, these events have shaped how we inhabit a place—indeed, whether or not we inhabit it at all. They can also have a profound effect on our collective consciousness, particularly in terms of how we prepare for potential disasters. The events that shock us most and affect the greatest number of people tend to illicit a more powerful response— whether that means disaster preparedness, natural resource management, legislation, or the relocation of settlements. This map is a representation of historical events requiring an emergency response, compiled by Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. Although the ministry’s geo-located tracking began only in 2010, their database includes recorded emergencies dating back to the mid-19th century. These are events that caused significant structural damage, community evacuation, or the involvement of MNR emergency response personnel. Most of the events fall into the expected typologies of natural disaster— forest fire, flooding, erosion/landslides, tornadoes, dam failures, droughts—but there are also data points for disasters such as the E.coli water contamination in Kashechewan First Nation, a mine tailings leak near Sault Ste. Marie, and various communication network failures across the province. While our capacity to respond to and mitigate the effects of disasters has improved over the years, it’s important to recognize patterns in places where geography or climate serve to make emergencies cyclical, even if those recurrence intervals strain our collective memory. Modern mapping can illuminate trends, and traditional knowledge can extend understanding beyond written records. As climate change makes extreme weather patterns more commonplace, it becomes vital that we shift our understanding away from viewing these events as spontaneous. By taking a long view of changes in our environment, we can understand when adaptation is necessary to create resilient landscapes and communities. It’s simply a matter of seeing the warning signs.

Continuity of Operations Event (including loss of communications networks) Petroleum Resource Centre Event Emergency Management Ontario Requested Assistance - No Evacuation Emergency Management Ontario Requested Assistance - Evacuation Fire - No Evacuation Fire - Evacuation Flood - No Evacuation Flood - Evacuation Erosion - No Evacuation Erosion - Evacuation Requested Assistance Drought or Low Water Dam Failure National Fire Database Ontario - 1960-1969 National Fire Database Ontario - 1970-1979 National Fire Database Ontario - 1980-1989 National Fire Database Ontario - 1990-1999 National Fire Database Ontario - 2000-2009 National Fire Database Ontario - 2010-2019

BIOs/ James MacDonald graduated from the University of Toronto’s MLA program at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design in 2015. Since graduating, he has been working as a landscape designer in Toronto while pursuing research concerning climate change adaptation. Katie Strang is a Toronto-based designer and member of the Ground Editorial Board.


Disasters that Shape Us

11

.39

1980 Red Lake Forest Fire: Five thousand inhabitants of Red Lake, a remote gold-mining community in Northwestern Ontario, were evacuated, making it one of the largest civilian evacuations in Canadian history.

June 17, 1946, Tornado, Windsor: A tornado that developed on the Detroit River damaged and destroyed approximately 400 homes in Windsor and the surrounding area. The tornado took down 150 barns and uprooted hundreds of trees. Seventeen people were killed.

1913 South Porcupine Flood: A major flood in 1913 inundated much of South Porcupine and set the stage for the development of a flood protection system for the Timmins area. 1916 Matheson Forest Fire: A forest fire triggered by lightening burned down the towns of Cochrane, Matheson, Iroquois Falls, Porquis Junction, Nushka, and Kelso. The fire killed at least 233 people and remains the most deadly forest fire on record in Ontario. It led to the development of the legislation known today as the Forest Fires Prevention Act and improvements in the techniques used to prevent and control forest fires. 1986 Landslide, Brantford: A huge landslide close to the Grand River occurred in 1986 and affected a lumber yard, florist shop, gas bar, car wash, and the railway line. Four residences were evacuated. This site is now closely monitored and efforts to develop and refine remediation to address slope stability issues are ongoing. 1998 Mississippi River/The Clyde River Flooding: The Clyde River peaked at a 1-in-500-year flood level, while the Mississippi River peaked in excess of the 1-in-100-year level. Extensive flooding occurred in communities along the system, forcing the evacuation of nearby residents. 1870 Great Fire of Carleton County: A forest fire swept through Carleton County moving north towards Ottawa during a particularly hot and dry summer in 1870. It burnt 250,000 hectares of pine forest between Smith Falls and Ottawa, resulting in approximately 20 deaths and forcing 2,000 people out of their homes. The fire was extinguished by breaking up the dam at Dow’s Lake, which stopped the fire from moving into Ottawa. The federal government, though hesitant at first, assisted those who were affected by the disaster, and this set the precedent for federal governmental assistance at the time of a disaster, a practice that continues to this day. 1954 Hurricane Hazel, Toronto: The remnants of Hurricane Hazel, combined with a wet and rainy few weeks preceding the storm, resulted in unprecedented flooding and Toronto’s worst recorded natural disaster. It left 81 people dead and caused between $25 and $100 million in damages. However, the storm sparked the expansion of the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority’s responsibilities to include flood control. Contains information licensed under the Open Government License—Ontario, including data from the National Fire Database. More information and the complete license can be found here: https://www.javacoeapp.lrc.gov.on.ca/ geonetwork/srv/en/main.home?uuid=42ff03b0-12dd-446a-88f1-73cb5d97126d.


Biophobia

12

.39

Landscape, Sustainability, and Attachment Trauma

01

Text by Real Eguchi, OALA

Biophobia is a persistent fear of life and living organisms, including landscapes, nature, earth, and our own bodies, and speaks to our cultural anxiety or ambivalence about death. My personal exploration in landscape architecture has been rooted in trying to understand the personal and cultural sources of biophobia, in an attempt to embrace acceptance of life—and death. Messiness, chaos, and feelings of disorder, lack of control, uncertainty, and awe are, I believe, emotional/ experiential qualities that we require from our everyday surroundings in order to evolve from our unsustainable, biophobic approaches to design, and lifestyles in general. Controlled urban landscapes persist in our profession, even as we try to address environmental concerns in our work. Private gardens have continued in their pursuit of avoiding and banishing natural processes, detaching us from “messy” earth with paved rooms bordered with boxwood, yews, hostas, and BBQs. My own exploration of childhood attachment trauma has informed my critique of biophobia and biophobic design. Attachment theory posits that a connection develops between an infant and its primary caregiver in order to ensure the survival of the child. Insecure attachment results from the infant not perceiving the primary caregiver, usually the mother, as a secure base from which to engage with the world.

02


Biophobia

13

.39

04 01/

Real Eguchi allowed a dead raccoon to decay for a year in his garden, witnessing this biological and natural process.

IMAGE/

Barbara Eguchi

02-03/

Embracing death in the landscape goes hand in hand with equanimity, according to Real Eguchi.

IMAGES/

Barbara Eguchi

04/

This painting, Reconciliation, by landscape architect Barbara Eguchi (commissioned by her husband, Real Eguchi, while he was writing this article), shows the native plants bloodroot and Echinacea, along with invasive non-native plants periwinkle, garlic mustard, and dog-strangling vine, and brings into question what we welcome and what we might fear in our landscapes.

IMAGE/

Barbara Eguchi

05/

Real Eguchi’s philosophical landscape interests are rooted in exploring cultural and personal existential trauma.

03

Mother Earth (nature) is humanity’s primary caregiver. Yet due to our sentience and mortality salience (a term used in Terror Management Theory to describe the awareness that our individual death is inevitable), many of us who subscribe to Western consumer culture are insecurely attached to our mother. It is because we are natural, mortal, highly sentient beings that many of us cannot escape existential anxiety to feel a secure attachment to Mother Earth. Instead, we cling to a cultural worldview that either immortalizes us or demands a totalizing acceptance of our impermanence and the transient nature of our loved ones. To borrow the language of developmental psychology, we are otherwise insecurely attached to earth. Insecure attachment styles can include: anxious/ambivalent, avoidant or disorganized/ disoriented. Our cities and cultural landscapes facilitate these attachment styles as we seem protected and are distracted from all thoughts that our colonization of Turtle Island—and, indeed, the entire earth—is leading towards collapse.

The design of cultural landscapes can greatly facilitate the practice of accepting our mortal existence and inherent emotional disconnection from Mother Earth while helping to diminish existential anxiety. This practice of acceptance is the most direct route to the earthly, embodied continuation of humanity. We, therefore, need landscapes that will allow us to directly engage, on a daily basis, with natural processes that are integral to accepting our own individual impermanence. For example, parks complete with bees, ticks, and coywolves can help us to maintain an awareness of our vulnerable existence. Cultural landscapes are a critical forum for eco-exposure-experiential-expressive arts therapy. Let’s dissolve the boundary between our inner emotional landscape and the outer landscape that we dwell within. Let’s create landscapes that evoke “sustainable beauty,” an aesthetic based on combined feelings of vulnerability, joy, and safety that promotes being open, connected, and compassionate with earth. Life is messy and so, too, should be the designed landscapes that support and mirror our existence. BIO/ Real Eguchi, OALA, is a Principal of Eguchi Associates Landscape Architects/ bREAL art + design. He first presented some of the above explorations in his talk “Botox and Blossoms” at a 2010 symposium organized by the Canadian Institute for Sustainable Biodiversity.

IMAGE/

Barbara Eguchi

06/

Our designed landscapes can be places that evoke sustainable beauty.

IMAGE/

Barbara Eguchi

05

06


Feral Gardens

.39

14


Feral Gardens

15

.39

Text and photographs by Joaquin Sevillano

The city is wild, and the city is beautiful. Wild urban plants from across the globe burst forth between road and curb to remind us that we are not living in a sterile city—that, in fact, all edges are fertile and wildness abounds. This is how I see the city, as an artist and landscape designer, a perspective I’ve gained through photographing spontaneous vegetation throughout Toronto. My pictures are a visual ode to the gardens that spring up all over, in places where maintenance wanes and pavements crack. The striking compositions, made by wild urban plants and their surroundings, inform my artistic and professional pursuits. To me, they are neither weeds nor symbols of urban decay, but, rather, gardens full of intrigue, worthy of an appreciative gaze, affection, and perhaps even love. I am not the only one who sees things this way. Landscape architects, ecologists, and academics are building reputations as experts in the field of wild urban plants. In Toronto, landscape architect Victoria Taylor, OALA, utilizes spontaneous vegetation to improve the beauty and health of our city. In his book Wild Urban Plants of the Northeast, Harvard professor Peter Del Tredici provides in-depth portraits of these plants, their histories, qualities, and ecological impacts. A budding cultural appreciation of this subject is also evident online, through Instagram’s lush offerings of galleries specifically dedicated to #spontaneousurbanplants. Spontaneous vegetation has also charmed the judges at the Chelsea flower show, with James Basson’s “Maltese Quarry” winning best in show in 2017. His garden employed the aesthetics of spontaneous vegetation colonizing a post-industrial landscape, highlighting the regenerative capacity of plants to heal the earth and delight the soul. Aesthetics and ecology aside, the root of my attraction to spontaneous vegetation stems from the lessons they offer. Much like a flower that’s judged to be a weed, we can be unabashedly ourselves despite the categories others ascribe to us. Wild urban plants teach through example that it’s possible to be tender and tough, and, that, in harsh conditions and against all odds, we, too, can find our own niche and thrive in this beautiful and wild world. BIO/ Joaquin Sevillano, Landscape Architectural Intern, works at Land Art Design Landscape Architects.


Speaking Up and Out

.39

16

Spontaneous oratory

01 Text by Eric Klaver, OALA

In order to keep it alive, democracy requires that ideas be heard and that active dialogue among citizens is possible. Recent world events have motivated people to take to public spaces and express a variety of views and emotions about government actions or inaction, policies, and injustices. Public spaces in Canada are able to accommodate the friction of conflicting views, often with these conflicts lubricated by public policies that allow for peaceful demonstration. One mode of government support for public expression of opinions and ideas is found in Speakers’ Corners—spaces set aside in parks and public squares for spontaneous oratory and opinion. The first Speakers’ Corner was established in the U.K., in London’s Hyde Park, and there are now a number in cities around the world, including a handful in Ontario. The small podium that was Speakers’ Corner in Ottawa’s Sparks Street Mall was established in the 1980s near the place of Thomas D’Arcy McGee’s assassination. It was soon abandoned as it was little used. According to Andrew Cohen, in his book The Unfinished Canadian, “No one wanted a soapbox in January.”

In Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square, a Speakers’ Corner began as an ad hoc location, a place to which security directed people who didn’t have a permit. In the past, facilities management for the square made a little wooden platform and, if the platform broke, they would fix it. Over time, the space became formalized at the west end of Queen Street. The recent revitalization of Nathan Phillips Square included a design for a Speakers’ Corner at Queen and Bay streets; however, the budget hasn’t been allocated as yet for the next phase, and so it remains dormant. Currently, the only city in Ontario with an active Speakers’ Corner known to this author is Kitchener, which recently installed one at the corner of King and Frederick streets. While this space was a Speakers’ Corner prior to redevelopment, its presence was fairly discreet—a bench, some shrubs, and a sign saying “Speakers’ Corner.”


Speaking Up and Out

17

.39

03

02

Allan MacKay, an artist now based in Banff, Alberta, created the latest Speakers’ Corner in Kitchener in 2009 as part of the King Street streetscape renewal led by IBI Group. The piece is comprised of two granite walls that identify the space with repeating text PUBLICSPEAKINGPUBLICSPEAKINGPUBLICSPEAKING. Central to the space is a mirror-polished stainless steel column, which reflects an anamorphic image rendered in porcelain tile around its base. The image, a panoramic photograph of the space taken by MacKay prior to redevelopment, reflects on the stainless steel and reconstructs itself, wrapping 360 degrees around the column. The original Speakers’ Corner sign can be seen in that image.

While mathematics was important to the conceptualization, the Speakers’ Corner feature was close to MacKay’s heart. “I was doing a lot of speaking out about the [federal] government at that particular point in time, and so in a sense my own politics of the notion of public voice became very interesting, and I thought, well, it would be good to revitalize and reinvest this space with the aspect of being a Speakers’ Corner.”

Along with the technical challenge of constructing a perfectly mirrored cylinder, MacKay received help with the technical challenge of the image projection from mathematician Dr. Jim Hunt. MacKay says, “I was interested in the experience of people finding the illusion, finding that little bit of magic that happens if you work mathematics in a certain way.”

BIO/ Eric Klaver, OALA, is a Senior Landscape Architect at PLANT Architect and is a member of the Ground Editorial Board.

In this age of social media, MacKay believes that a public, physical presence for public speech is still important: “The thing is, we take comfort in being able to recognize each other and recognize each other in a common cause.”

01-03/

Artist Allan MacKay designed the new Speakers’ Corner in Kitchener.

IMAGES/

Allan MacKay


To Roam or Not to Roam

.39

18

Roam: to walk, go, or travel without a fixed purpose or direction; ramble; wander; rove Text by Vincent Racine

Put into an urban context, to roam quickly involves a series of obstacles: traffic lights, private property, maybe a car or two. Depending on your capabilities, location, and purpose, roaming can be interpreted variably. Someone living with a disability might interpret roaming as the ability to move across the landscape without experiencing any physical barriers. Indigenous peoples might see roaming as the ability to experience the land as per traditions without the constraints that have been imposed by settlers. Overall, roaming evokes an idea of freedom, which can be interpreted from many angles. But what if roaming was in itself a right, and the privatization of land was not an obstacle to organic movement but rather a blurred concept that would be established on the premise of respect?

01

In many northern European countries, the freedom to roam has been laid out in policies for many years, decades, or even centuries. Although the rules vary from country to country, visitors and residents have the ability to move across the landscape and camp temporarily in many locations as long as it is not in the immediate vicinity of a building, a private garden, and/or on

cultivated lands. This allows for a continuous enjoyment of the natural landscape without ownership becoming an obstacle. But “to roam” also means not to disturb, which is a maxim that is used in those northern European countries. In fact, permitted uses in areas that can be roamed are flexible and assessed based on their capacity for disturbance to the environment and residents. So, what would a “right to roam”-type legislation look like in Ontario? Land ownership is a concept that varies quite significantly between countries (for example, in Belarus, forests and farm lands are publicly owned by law), which unfortunately impacts the applicability of such legislation. But ravine systems, for example, are ecological hotspots that, although formally laid out through site plans, have over time been informally adapted to fit users’ needs. A rethinking of land ownership in such a complex system that is rooted in dialogue and respect for the ecology and residents is much needed and could help promote connectivity—and therefore the ability to roam— in such a way that isn’t formalized but rather created through environmental stewardship. BIO/ Vincent Racine is a Junior Planner at The Planning Partnership and holds a Master of Planning degree in urban development from Ryerson University and a Bachelor of Science degree in environment from McGill University.


To Roam or Not to Roam

.39

02

01/

Ravines, such as this one in Toronto, serve as ecological connections within cities.

IMAGE/

Vincent Racine

02-03/

For his research into ravines, roaming, and connectivity, Vincent Racine created maps of ecological systems in Toronto (above) and Stockholm (below).

IMAGES/

Vincent Racine

03

19


Control and Constraints: Regulating Spontaneity in Public Places

Alex Mereu, Kitchener-Waterloo I would like to see parks where the boundaries between the man-made elements and nature are less defined; where the playground is defined by individual imagination and evolves with the ambitions of its users. Katie Strang, Landscape Architectural Intern, Toronto I wish I could prune trees in parks. The City of Toronto has been planting a wider variety of tree species in the last few years, to increase the biodiversity of the urban canopy. I think it’s a worthy goal, but some of these trees require frequent maintenance to avoid becoming messy. Every time I walk by the new red mulberry trees in Christie Pits Park, I just want to trim off the suckers. Mark Schollen, OALA, Schollen & Company Inc., Richmond Hill

Compiled by the Ground Editorial Board

5 Spontaneous activities can sometimes conflict with regulations related to accepted uses of public spaces. We asked a cross-section of people for their thoughts in answer to the following questions: Should parks be more permissive of spontaneous activity? What can’t people do in parks that people would like to do? Would parks benefit from an injection of chaos? Are the current constraints in your municipality reasonable? On these pages are the responses we received.

20

.39

Parks should definitely be designed to accommodate spontaneous activities. In fact, many of the parks my firm has designed have become focal points for activities that we did not envision: tai chi at the water play area (before it is programmed to start running), as well as dance lessons and musical performances. Eating and drinking are two activities that really have the power to bring a community together. These activities are limited by regulation. For example, in Edithvale Park [in Toronto], we incorporated a bake oven that is used intensively for pizza parties and community gatherings, but there is a process to be navigated to allow for the use of this facility due to staffing requirements and other regulations. It would be so nice if the community could host a pizza dinner without undue regulations (and with a glass of red wine). Current constraints are not reasonable. One need only travel to Europe (or Quebec) to see the opportunities that relaxed regulations bring: more social activity, increased use of public spaces, extended hours of use, and activation of park spaces beyond the typical. A relaxed set of rules for the use of public open spaces is a logical next step given the densification of the city and the propensity for people to actually “live” outside their place of residence.

Laurie Gennings, Landscape Designer, IBI Group, Toronto Growing up as a skateboarder, we were always getting kicked out of places for skateboarding. We thought of it as a form of discrimination or that people just didn’t “get” us. Now that I have grown up and been involved in the design side of things, I have realized a great deal about why this would happen. I worked for a number of years as a ski patroller, and that gave me a great deal of insight on liability. It would be tough for a municipality to be more inclusive of such recreational activities (skateboarding, biking, and scooters) because there is always the looming elephant of liability. By allowing a blend of public thoroughfares, parks, and active sports, you are creating more possibilities for confrontations, injuries, and whatever else that may arise. Another thing to take into account is damage. On the James Street Plaza GO project [in Hamilton], we took a little more lax approach towards skateboard deterrents, and ultimately it hasn’t worked out for the best. They’re literally skating things that even I, as a boarder, wouldn’t have thought of. It’s tough to plan for something that is such an open form of expression. Skateboarders are always looking for new, unique ways of expressing their art. With all this said, there is definitely some room to grow with regards to our approach to these activities. Recently, there has been an influx of DIY skateparks popping up around Toronto. Ultimately, these get shut down by the city, due to liability concerns. The problem is that skateboaders will just find another spot and continue to build. I think the city needs to work with local skaters and try to find spaces that allow for them to do these things. Skateboarders want to find new challenges. By allotting them spaces around the city to build their own stuff, it allows for municipalities to monitor and post signage that will at least somewhat rid themselves of liability. The best approach is to give skateboarders spots to create, and try to manage their presence with regard to pedestrians.


Control and Constraints: Regulating Spontaneity in Public Places

Erik (last name not given), Evangelical Street P reacher It really is the best place [Yonge-Dundas intersection, Toronto] in the city to do this. They’ve been trying to ban us here for a while now; I think that’s a bad idea. Jaleh Gilani, Ajax I used to sell homemade gaz [Persian treats] to other parents in the park. I guess that’s technically illegal [laughter]. Melissa Bruntlett, Co-founder of Modacity, Vancouver, B.C. Parks exist as a gathering space, where people of all ages, incomes, and backgrounds can come together in a welcoming environment. We should strive to make park places that don’t restrict how people enjoy them, creating vibrant areas in a neighbourhood and the city. Time limits, restrictions on food and beverage consumption, and a lack of accessibility for every visitor hinder the joy of public spaces. In an increasingly divided world, it’s hard to think that any park would be free of people finding shelter in them, because they don’t have anywhere else to go. However, the down side is that when parks fill with tents and the like, they can become intimidating spaces where families may avoid them. It’s not an easy thing to address, but the solution shouldn’t take the rights away from some to give them to another.

Walter Fischer, OALA, Supervisor, Parks Planning and Development, City of Barrie At our local neighbourhood park level in Barrie, we are trying to allow space for more spontaneous, informal activities to occur. In a few examples, where the City has designated a park as passive parkland, like our larger Sunnidale Park, our Parks Use By-law helps control formal sports activities by not allowing for “matched games” to be played. The term “matched game” allows us to limit what can and cannot occur. We are trying to achieve this same type of informal or spontaneous use within all our new, local neighbourhood parks as they get developed through subdivision plans. Currently, we are in the process of reviewing our major waterfront parks system to add such uses as public BBQ areas. Right now, we don’t have safe disposal areas for hot coals and embers, so this limits their use. We are also reviewing how dogs are permitted in the waterfront parks; currently, dogs have to be on a lead and remain on our pathways. If we allow dogs on lead but off the paths, this might help with a family’s enjoyment of our waterfront while possibly helping with the general management of geese on our waterfront grass areas. Activities not permitted in our parks range from not being able to play golf, to not allowing overnight camping, the setting of fires, hunting, damaging vegetation, nor the sale of any products or services.

Coralie Bruntlett [age 11], Vancouver, B.C. I would like to see spaces that allow kids to be risky in the way they play, and stop worrying so much about making everything safe. I would also like to have more accessibility for riding a bike, walking, scooting, skateboarding, climbing—ways to be active and explore. Etienne Bruntlett [age 8.5], Vancouver, B.C.

Charlie McVean McDonald [age 10], Toronto I would like ziplines in parks so you can view over things and feel a rush of excitement. Trampoline stations would be really cool, too. And wouldn’t it be cool if there were habitatviewing stations like duck blinds with those binocular machines they have at Niagara Falls, except free so everyone can use them. Aengus Adams [age 10], Toronto

I think they should allow more frequent farmers markets and food instead of just one day a week and only in the summer.

21

.39

I want to see more wildlife of all sizes, pollinator plants, forests…Connection between these spaces would help us see more animals.

Henry Collyer [age 10], Toronto I wish play spaces in Ontario were more challenging for kids our age and older, like in England. Also, there should be more celebration spaces to be with friends, and places to grow food together. Zoë Dodd, Harm Reduction Worker, member of Toronto Harm Reduction Alliance We are occupying a piece of a park [Moss Park pop-up safe injection site, in Toronto] where there is a lot of drug use and homelessness. We have about three tents set up. We’ve had more than 1,200 injections, 1,800 inhalations, and we have reversed 31 overdoses. It sometimes feels like we’ve set up a tent in the middle of a war, where we’ve had multiple overdoses on the site, one after the other, and it can be quite frightening. It sometimes hits me that if we weren’t there, then people might be coming across a dead person instead. Community members started to take on roles to help. It’s actually quite a vibrant space in the midst of something that is life and death. Family members who have lost loved ones come by, maybe someone whose child might have used the service had it been there. They bring photos or candles that we burn for their child. That in itself is such a beautiful expression in a public space. People ask me about violence, but in the space people take care of each other. They monitor each other’s behaviour and don’t want to ruin the space and the site, because it’s a safe space. There’s the occasional neighbour who comes and feels really entitled and will yell at me that we are bringing something into the park, but it already existed in the park and they want to ignore that it existed. They are basically saying that they’d rather people die than be saved in public. That’s how deep the hatred runs for having to see poverty or open drug use—and that’s really violent. It’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve been involved in, considering how frightening it can be witnessing these overdoses.


Putting Happiness into Practice

22

.39

03

01/

IMAGE/ 02/

IMAGE/

A “fascination frame”—one of the interventions in the Shore the Core project in Florida BÈju “Fascination frames” included transparent imagery depicting historical scenes on the West Palm Beach waterfront. BÈju

03/

An annotated diagram of the tactical intervention elements of the Shore to Core project in Florida

IMAGE/

Happy City

Text by Andrew Taylor

Public spaces influence our psyche, affecting the way we think, act, and feel. As Charles Montgomery, Principle at Happy City and author of the book Happy City, suggests, “Public spaces can build or corrode.” This notion has been founded in neuroscience and environmental psychology. The idea that public spaces can influence our wellbeing was recently tested in an urban experiment, Shore to Core, on the waterfront promenade in West Palm Beach, Florida. Happier by Design, the multidisciplinary team—comprised of Happy City, Street Plans Collaborative, Space Syntax, and the University of Virginia—conducted this study in January 2017, transforming a small section of the promenade into a single-day tactical intervention aimed at drawing in people, as well as improving participants’ wellbeing. The site contained restorative and comforting elements, including fragrant plants, movable seating, umbrellas, and “fascination frames” with transparent imagery depicting historical scenes of the waterfront. The team analyzed the intervention site’s impact on participants’ wellbeing and measured the spatial relationship the site had with the surrounding environment and people. The results were significant. The intervention drew five times more people into the site than when vacant; as well, it improved participants’ moods: they reported having a higher sense of belonging, reduced stress, and increased social trust.

01

02

West Palm Beach’s waterfront exemplified issues public spaces face when unadorned and underutilized. Montgomery says, “Our

research showed that West Palm Beach can activate its waterfront by making it more complex and fascinating. This lesson can be applied more broadly.” Sherryl Muriente, Project Director at Street Plans Collaborative, one of the partners in the study, notes, “When you translate physiological wellbeing into place, we look at providing comfort, and that could be through shade elements, it could be through seating. Fascination is really about providing moments of interest that make you stop, reflect, and linger for a moment in the public space.” Further, she says, “One of the biggest things we’ve got to think about when we’re designing any public space is for people to have the freedom to use the space where they feel welcome to be there.” It is vital that we put happiness into practice, recognizing the influences a place has on our wellbeing and fostering its ability to captivate us. Montgomery notes, “A new field of evidence-based design is emerging [such as from environmental psychology]. If we pay attention to the evidence, we can design public spaces in ways that make people healthier and happier.” The full report of Shore to Core can be found at: www.thehappycity.com/ project/shore-to-core/. BIO/ Andrew Taylor, a fourth-year Environmental Studies student at the University of Waterloo, is a member of the Ground Editorial Board.

TO view additional content related to this Ground article, Visit www.groundmag.ca.


HATCH: Art in the city

23

.39

02

Text by Dalia Todary-Michael

Guelph is home to a community ethic that runs throughout its arts, performance, environmental, and civic activism. Streetscapes are activated with festivities and exhibitions at a regular, all-season pace. Yet, even today, after city revitalization efforts, the emergence of downtown’s Guelph Marketplace, and a renewed transit station, the fabric of the urban core has seen its share of retail closings and commercial vacancies. This can certainly dim any city’s streetscape character. A recent plan in Guelph has been turning this around since 2015. HATCH, a project brought to life by the Guelph Arts Council in partnership with local business, property owners, and community groups, is transforming Guelph’s vacant stores and commercial spaces into “pop-up” art venues or temporary, emergent galleries. Patti Broughton of the Guelph Arts Council explains that the project was an easy pick for funding support because of the opportunity it presented to “animate the urban streetscape in unexpected and creative ways.” 01 01/

A view of HATCH installations by Korey Steckle (Connect the Disconnected, 2015) and Steph Yates (Museum of Subliminal Objects, 2015)

IMAGE/

Melissa Gobeil

02/

The Guelph HATCH project is trans- forming the city’s vacant stores and commercial spaces into “pop-up” art venues or temporary galleries.

IMAGE/

Melissa Gobeil

For years, Guelph Arts Council has championed the need for more arts and community spaces in order to showcase the broad impact that a diversity of creative space can have in accessing and empowering the local artist community. When introduced to local property owners through the Downtown Guelph Business Association, the Guelph Arts Council saw potential in a concept that is easily implementable in a short time-frame and aligns with their effort to benefit local/regional artists. With more relationships cultivated along the way, more funding partners came on board: Guelph Community Foundation, Musagetes Fund, the Elevator Project, City of Guelph, and the Oak Tree Project. The concept, further refined, emerged as HATCH, with the purpose of breathing meaning into unexpected and temporarily underutilized spaces. One project by the artist group KIAM saw visitors participate in “community painting,” bringing the process of artistic work closer to the public. Many walks down a familiar street have gained a spark of serendipity thanks to the several installations, painting, and mixed-media exhibitions that have graced the platform. As it continues to transform Guelph’s downtown, HATCH reminds us that a city’s urban fabric is a skin as alive as its inhabitants. BIO/ Dalia Todary-Michael is a member of the Ground Editorial Board.


LandMarks2017/ Repères2017

24

.39

05 01

04

02

03

06


LandMarks2017/ Repères2017

25

.39

07

Text by Shannon Baker, oala

Landscape figures prominently in the collective identity of Canada. Our associations with endless coastline, Rocky Mountains, boreal forest, and outstretched prairie define, in part, who we are. The relationships we have with these landscapes, both as a nation and as individuals, are sometimes complicated ones. Our perception of landscape and the ways in which it defines us is informed by a myriad of cultural, spiritual, and experiential inputs. 08 01-03/

Stitching My Landscape, by Maureen Gruben

IMAGES/

Maureen Gruben

04/

Being Skidoo, by Jeneen Frei Njootli

IMAGE/

Jeneen Frei Njootli

05/

Freedom Tours, by Cheryl L’Hirondelle and Camille Turner

IMAGE/

Cheryl L’Hirondelle and Camille Turner

06/

Weaving Voices, by Bo Yeung

IMAGE/

Bo Yeung

07/

Re-alocation, by Ursula Johnson

IMAGE/

Ursula Johnson

08/

Coalescence, by Michael Belmore

IMAGE/

Michael Belmore

In a landscape much older, and populated for many more than 150 years, the celebration of Canada 150 provides an opportunity to examine ourselves as a nation, our collective identity, as well as our relationship to the landscape that shapes us. The LandMarks2017/Repères2017 exhibition asks that we explore this territory through a series of contemporary art interventions within and adjacent to national parks and historic sites across Canada. The pieces offer up interpretations of the notion of a landmark through the lens of each artist. They also present new ways of seeing and experiencing landscape, asking us to examine and perhaps deepen our relationship to it.

Artist Jin-me Yoon’s piece examines the migrations of peoples, the events that spur them to relocate from distant lands, and how this informs our concept of home. Rebecca Belmore’s installation calls on us to listen to the land. In Rouge National Park, Cheryl L’Hirondelle and Camille Turner use new media to explore collective stories that have to date been largely untold, with the intention of inspiring their telling in ways that are connected to the landscape. Turning an eye towards the deep connections between the Inuvialuit and the landscape, Maureen Gruben uses the ice to open a dialogue on climate change, its effect on the landscape, and how those changes may affect how we relate to it. The works included in LandMarks2017/ Repères2017 create opportunities to open new dialogues about what it means to be Canadian, and what our collective and individual relationship to landscape is. The year-long project culminated in June 2017, coinciding with the summer solstice and National Aboriginal Day; however, several interventions extend into the fall. For more information on LandMarks2017/ Repères2017, visit www.landmarks2017.ca. BIO/ Shannon Baker, OALA, is a Toronto-based landscape architect currently focused on building The Bentway at Waterfront Toronto. She is also a member of the Ground Editorial Board.


Plant Corner

26

.39

Sheila Boudreau, OALA, and Dr. Bonnie McElhinny, University of Toronto, interview Carole Smith of Kayanase: Restoring Mother Earth, an Indigenous-owned and –operated ecological restoration company and native plant nursery at Six Nations of the Grand River Territory

01-02/

The longhouse is the heart of Kayanase’s cultural and ecotourism initiative.

IMAGES/

Courtesy of Kayanase

03-04/

Kayanase has seen the demand for native plants increase significantly.

IMAGES/

Sheila Boudreau

05/

Kayanase staff: back row (L-R), Kahentakeron Tyrone Deer; Daniel Henry; Ken Longboat; middle row (L-R), Maripat Thompson, Jordan Rueben, Dan Werner, Peter VanDalen; front row (L-R), Fran Burning, Carole Smith, Kalisha Hess. Missing from the photograph are Pauline Bomberry and John Hill.

IMAGE/

Pauline Bomberry

01

02


Plant Corner

tion in 2016 of traditional medicine plants to the greenhouse and retail operations gives Kayanase a niche market in southwestern Ontario. This new and improved facility was funded to a large extent through the Federal–Community Adjustment Fund, and has a state-of-the-art 52,000-sq.-ft. greenhouse and an 8,000-sq.-ft. office and production building. We do our own seed collection, processing, and growing, which guarantees the integrity of the source of species gathered and grown. To meet customer demand, we have developed purchasing relationships with nurseries who have reliable native species stock. In our greenhouse, we currently grow more than 300 native species of trees, shrubs, grasses, and perennials, which represents less than 10 percent of all native species found in our Carolinian Zone.

03

Though Kayanase grows and sells more than 300 species of native trees, shrubs, grasses, and perennials, there is one plant they grow that they cannot and will not sell—tobacco. Tobacco is used to communicate with the Creator, and also with each other. Offering tobacco is a way (alongside a request, an offering, or a prayer) to mark respect and honesty, and pave the way for kind and respectful relations. Kayanase offers tobacco as a gift—but you can’t take too much. This plant embodies much of the work that Kayanase (pronounced Guy-ahnah-say) does in restoring plants, places, and people to right relations. Kayanase is thus more than a production house of high-quality, locally sourced native plants. Like the chipmunks who industriously plant bur oak acorns in pots and under mats (keeping staff busy), the company is an excellent model of creating successful and rewarding new ways to grow. Below are answers to some of the questions we sent to Kayanase, and that their staff thoughtfully considered and shared with us. Thanks to their decision in 2014 to open their doors to the public in order to evolve into a cultural/ ecotourism company, anyone interested in learning more can visit, as well. The day before our tour, Kayanase had hosted students from grades 4-6 from the Six Nations elementary school Oliver M. Smith Kawenni:io in a workshop, where youth participated in a multi-part project about pollination and butterflies. They visited the nursery to learn about pollinator plants, made seed bombs (with mud and seeds), and each child was given seeds to plant at home. Students also participated in an eye-catching colouring contest (displayed proudly inside the front entrance) and won

27

.39

Does climate change affect what and how you plant?

04

doorprizes. Soon, Kayanase staff will visit the students at their school and help them build a monarch butterfly garden. What is the history of Kayanase, including any watershed moments that helped craft the business? We are an ecological restoration company with a native plant and seed nursery and a full-time staff of 12, including administration, ecological restoration services, the greenhouse, and ecotourism. Kayanase began in 2005 as an economic endeavour started by Grand River Employment and Training Inc. (GRETI) to meet the demands of a newly acquired contract with the City of Hamilton to restore areas around the new Red Hill Valley Expressway. It has grown beyond this project into a full-fledged company that still remains under the umbrella of GRETI. We are an Aboriginal-owned company that specializes in handling only native species of trees, shrubs, herbaceous, and perennial plants found within Zone 37. The introduc-

Sourcing locally grown native plant species has never been more important, given the ecological stresses we are experiencing with climate change. We continue to raise public awareness around climate change and endangered plants and animals within the Carolinian Zone, and to promote commercial and private investment in ecological restoration. Kayanase is doing its part to help mitigate the effects of climate change through ecological restoration and future large-scale tree planting projects. It is expected that as the climate changes, so will forest zones and the distribution of species across Canada and the world. Kayanase is working closely with partners and advisors to monitor species trends in an effort to adapt to changing forestry practices.

05


Plant Corner

Do you envision cities as having the capacity to be “Restoring Mother Earth”?

“Restoring Mother Earth” is part of the Kayanase name. Can you describe the importance of plants to Indigenous communities? As an ecological restoration company, we restore ecologically disturbed or damaged lands back to healthful biodiversity through the planting of local native plant species. This doesn’t mean we are just planting trees or landscaping. We collect wild seed from within 75 kilometres of each of our project sites and grow the plants in our nursery, working with Forests Ontario, Grand River Conservation Authority, University of Guelph, and local property owners to source and identify seed stock. We grow a variety of native species— everything you would typically see on a site prior to it being developed or in its natural state. We pride ourselves on using an adaptive management approach integrating both scientific methodology and our traditional knowledge; in short, we let the land guide us in our restoration efforts by observing what is growing in the area surrounding the site we are restoring, considering what may have been present historically on the site, while also taking into consideration the landforms and the processes that shape them, and the current intended land use for the site. For example, it may no longer be possible for the site to have a wetland there. In addition to all of these considerations, we always remember our traditional knowledge in the work we are doing. For example, when we are seed collecting, we know that we should not take all of the seed from the tree or shrub, but rather leave a certain amount for it to replenish itself. Our culture dictates that we not be greedy about this and we need to understand the consequences of us taking too much from the land.

28

.39

07

Our company has also been instrumental in the revival of interest in our traditional medicinal uses of plants. Many of the youth who work with us are becoming keen to continue along this path of learning, and it gives them a desire to seek out that knowledge from the people in the community who know it. We typically hire four to six summer students a year; a few of them have gone on to pursue university and college studies in related fields. The Carolinian woodlands of Six Nations are recognized as a unique and valuable natural heritage feature and are important for the conservation of species at risk and their habitats in Canada. The Six Nations of the Grand River Territory has the largest area of remaining concentrated Carolinian forest cover (exceeding 45 percent total natural forested landscape) in Canada. The natural forest cover is a connected (closer than 200 metres) series of forest blocks greater than 200 hectares. Within a total 18,785 hectares currently identified as the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory community, or Reserve #40 lands, 8,715 hectares is natural forest cover, much of it of high ecological integrity, with a high component of oak-hickory, black maple woodlands in the mesic uplands and slough forests (dominated by swamp white oak, bur oak, Freeman’s maple, and elms). During a 2008-2009 Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Aboriginal Funds for Species at Risk (AFSAR) project undertaken by Kayanase, it was determined that there was significant public interest in biodiversity conservation at Six Nations, and there is a considerable concern within the community as to the existing and future condition of the natural habitats at Six Nations.

Cities have the opportunity and an increasing responsibility to restore much of their natural spaces as a way to combat climate change. Kayanase hopes to continue to be part of that solution. For example, Kayanase worked with the City of Hamilton on an ecological restoration project as part of the Red Hill Valley Project, one of the largest ecological restoration projects ever undertaken in a major urban setting in North America. The ecological restoration plans developed by Kayanase’s professional restoration ecologists included seeding and planting more than 1,000,000 native trees, shrubs, and forbs established from local wild-type seed collected from within 75 kilometres of the project site. The project was completed as a “designbuild” restoration project whereby Kayanase restoration ecologists designed and managed the restoration program from initial site assessment, plan development, site preparation, seed collection, plant propagation, site installation, maintenance, and monitoring to a site “free-to-grow” stage. The project was a 5-year, $4-million initiative. As well, Kayanase worked with the Hamilton Conservation Authority and the City of Hamilton to complete naturalization and ecological restoration work at Confederation Park. The $500,000 project included development and implementation of a 5-year native species planting and ecological restoration program by Kayanase to improve habitat values as well as the overall quality and natural beauty of the park environment for park visitors. One of the key objectives was to significantly enhance the natural habitat value of the area to support its importance as a bird migration corridor along the Lake Ontario shoreline.

During Kayanase’s work, it also became evident that significant opportunities exist within the community to undertake ecological restoration to improve habitat quality and quantity on abandoned and/or marginal agricultural lands. 06

08


Plant Corner

09

valuable habitat to local wildlife and help to increase biodiversity. Many people might not realize that some of the common exotic ornamental plants that they plant in their gardens have little or no value to local wildlife. Native plants, on the other hand, such as goldenrods and asters, support pollinators; native sunflowers provide food for birds; milkweed is the only source of food for monarch caterpillars; these are the types of plants that can both provide an attractive element to your garden and support wildlife.

There are many other restoration projects Kayanese has been involved in, such as King’s Forest Golf Course in Hamilton; a large-scale project at Six Nations on behalf of Ontario Power Generation; Union Gas Parkway West Healing Garden in Milton; phragmites management for the City of Hamilton; and more.

There is a wide variety of native grasses (such as Indiangrass, switchgrass, big bluestem, and little bluestem) that are more beneficial to wildlife than some of the commercially available varieties that have the potential to be invasive, such as flamegrass.

An objective of Kayanase is to provide education and awareness to the public about non-native plant species, as well as to monitor and help eradicate them. What invasive species are you most concerned about that have earned a place in typical planting practices?

There are also a number of native trees and shrubs that do well in a landscaped setting. Species such as sugar, red, and Freeman’s maples, as well as oaks, do quite well in the urban landscape. Native shrubs such as wild roses, dogwoods, and witchhazel are also attractive choices.

There are many invasive species that we encounter on a nearly daily basis. Some commonly planted groundcover species, such as myrtle, goutweed, and English ivy, have a tendency to blanket forest floors, outcompeting all native groundcover species.

Can you tell us about how you draw on traditional ecological knowledge in your projects?

Ornamentals such as Japanese knotweed, Oriental bittersweet, and silvergrass or flamegrass (Miscanthus sp.) are commonly sold in nurseries and garden centres. These plants spread quickly and can severely degrade natural ecosystems. Norway maple is a popular tree used in urban landscaping. Its cultivars, such as the Crimson King maple, can be found throughout Canada. Norway maple can easily form dense forest canopy when established in natural areas, where it can shade out most other species growing beneath it. What are some important native plants that you think are overlooked by the landscape industry as well as home gardeners? One thing that is sometimes overlooked in the landscaping industry, and even by home gardeners, is the role that gardens play in local ecosystems. They provide

29

.39

Indigenous knowledge brings with it the responsibility to protect our forests, environment, waters, and wildlife for the next seven generations. While struggling to maintain balance and harmony with the natural world in modern times, we also strive to move forward. Traditional ecological knowledge tells us which species of trees to use to build a longhouse or make a basket; however, some species are no longer readily available due to the introduction of exotic diseases such as Dutch elm disease, which impacted the use of elm for longhouse poles, bark, rope, and basket-making. The Six Nations community is very proactive in the preservation of our cultural history and languages. The recognition of the value of traditional ecological knowledge that is carried on through oral and hands-on teaching is reflected in the care, preservation, and planting of all our native species. Having a “good mind” when you care for and put a seed or plant in the soil is important; singing or talking to the plants are some of the things our greenhouse and field crew do.

How is this kind of work linked to reconciliation, decolonization, or resurgence? It is empowering for a First Nation company such as Kayanase to have an opportunity to influence and participate in the outcomes of large construction projects such as the Red Hill Valley Expressway and others. Our ecological restoration work is necessitated by damage done to Mother Earth through human activity. Our mission is to restore the health and beauty of Mother Earth using science-based approaches and traditional ecological knowledge. Was there any concern about supporting restoration around the pipeline project? We stay out of the politics. We want to restore these plants back into the environment. If you could describe Kayanase in one sentence, what would it be? Kayanase would like to promote everyone’s responsibility to be environmental stewards, whether you are planning a backyard garden or engaging in largescale construction activity. Sheila Boudreau and Bonnie McElhinny would like to thank the generous and thoughtful staff at Kayanase for taking the time to review our questions and conduct this interview. Kayanase’s expansion plans speak to the growing awareness of the need for pollinator and native plants, the growth in cultural and ecotourism, and the desire for non-Indigenous people to think about meaningful and respectful ways to engage with Indigenous communities in the context of reconciliation and Indigenous resurgence. BIOs/ Sheila Boudreau, OALA, is Senior Landscape Architect at Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. Bonnie McElhinny, Ph.D., is Principal of New College and an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Women and Gender Studies at the University of Toronto.

06/

The completed Oliver M. Smith Kawenni:io Elementary School butterfly garden

IMAGE/

Courtesy of Kayanase

07/

Heliopsis helianthoides is one of the many native species grown at Kayanase.

IMAGE/

Courtesy of Kayanase

08/

Monarda fistulosa, also known as wild bergamot

IMAGE/

Courtesy of Kayanase

09/

Monarda didyma, also known as Oswego tea

IMAGE/

Courtesy of Kayanase


Research Corner

30

.39

Hunting for rare plants in Southern Ontario’s woodlots Text by J.L. McCune

The woodlots of Southern Ontario are definitely not pristine. As my team and I tramp through them looking for rare plants, we spot many wonders: ancient trees, delicate songbird nests, brilliantly colourful insects, and sometimes even the rare plant we are looking for. But we also find garbage, old car tires, relict rail fences, logging trails, hunter’s tree stands, and cut stumps. At least 70 percent of Southern Ontario was forested before European settlement. Now, only about 15 percent is covered by forests, and with about a third of Canada’s human population living here, it’s no wonder these forests are well-used. These forests are also the home to many of Canada’s rarest plants. Some of them used to be quite common before their populations were devastated by imported fungal diseases—the eastern flowering dogwood and the American chestnut are prime examples. Others may always have been rare. The spring blue-eyed Mary has only ever been recorded at nine or ten locations in Ontario, and has not been seen here in the wild since 1954. A few of these species are recognized by some landowners, like the butternut tree. But others are completely unknown. Hunters, hikers, and landowners could be passing by populations of these plants regularly, and not realize they are rare.

01

I use a computer modeling technique called Species Distribution Models (or SDMs) to target places to look for rare plants. Basically, I divided Southern Ontario into about 11 million one-hectare squares. I input the known locations of 30 different rare woodland plants into a freely available SDM-building program, along with geographic data on environmental factors such as temperature, precipitation, soil type, and elevation. The computer output predicts which one-hectare squares might have the right sort of conditions for each of the rare plants. My team and I have been visiting some of the sites that are predicted to have good habitat for one or more rare plants, and thoroughly searching the one-hectare area. So far, we have conducted 226 of these treasure hunts, many in privately owned woodlots, and some in areas owned by conservation authorities, municipalities, or nature trusts. The computer models are useful for most of the species. That doesn’t mean we find the rare plant at 100 percent of the sites

predicted to be suitable. After all, there are many factors that could influence whether or not a rare plant is present at a site and all these factors are not accounted for in the models: for example, the presence of other plant species that outcompete them, or the level of human use. But usually the models get us into the right type of forest habitat, even though the target rare plant may not be found. In our first two summers, we found at least one rare plant at about 27 percent of the sites we searched. We discovered new populations of 12 out of our 30 target species, and 13 other rare plants. 01/

Chimaphila maculata

IMAGE/

J.L. McCune

02/

Jenny McCune with a large ash tree

IMAGE/

J.L. McCune

03/

Stylophorum diphyllum, an endangered plant in Ontario

IMAGE/

J.L. McCune

04/

A bird’s nest with eggs in one of McCune’s research plots

IMAGE/

J.L. McCune

05/

Disturbance by humans is a major threat to rare plants.

IMAGE/

J.L. McCune


Research Corner

31

.39

having their land management dictated by government. Many believe that endangered species can be successfully moved or transplanted elsewhere, so that forest clearance for development can occur and endangered species can be conserved at the same time. There are two problems with this: first, where will we transplant the species when there is so little suitable forest left? Second, plant and animal translocations can be expensive and difficult, and many fail. There is no doubt that the massive forest clearance in Southern Ontario following European colonization is the reason why some of our woodland plants are now rare. Ongoing forest clearance for residential and agricultural development continues to threaten the scarce habitat these species need. For example, more than 5,000 hectares of forest are estimated to have been cleared between 2008 and 2014 in the easternmost part of Southern Ontario, including the city of Ottawa. Even if forests are replanted and restored, it can take decades or centuries for understory plants to recolonize. Many of them have seeds that are dispersed by ants, or they have no mechanism for longdistance seed dispersal at all.

02

can avoid putting a trail through it or stacking your firewood on top of it without even knowing it. In many cases, there may be no special management required for the rare plant: the main thing is just to keep the forest a forest. Selective harvesting for lumber or firewood is not necessarily bad, as long as it is done carefully and not too much of the canopy is removed. The woodlots of Southern Ontario are not pristine, but for forest-dwelling plants they are oases of trees on a landscape where forests are rare. Every woodlot on this landscape is important, even if it is small. BIO/ J.L. McCune is NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow, Geomatics and Landscape Ecology Research Laboratory, in the Department of Biology at Carleton University in ottawa.

But there is another major threat to rare plants: disturbance by humans during work and recreation. This largely occurs through inadvertent trampling by hikers, bikers, tractors, or ATVs. If you have a rare or endangered plant in your woodlot, the main thing I want to do is show you where it is, so you 03

05

Almost all forested land in Southern Ontario is privately owned. When I compared sites we surveyed on private land to sites owned by conservation authorities or land trusts, there was actually a higher likelihood of finding a rare plant on private land. Many landowners are surprised to realize the diversity of plants growing in their woodlot. We send the full list of all plant species recorded during our surveys to interested landowners. A reply I recently received from a landowner is a typical one: “Thank you for sending over the information, we had no idea that there were so many different trees/plants back in our woods!” Most landowners I have talked to believe it is our moral responsibility to prevent the extinction of endangered species. At the same time, they bristle at the thought of 04


Notes

Notes: A Miscellany of News and Events grants The Landscape Architecture Canada Foundation (LACF) funds research, communication, and scholarship. Over the past twenty-five years, the organization has funded a wide range of projects including historic research, oral histories, professional education programs, design research, habitat design guidelines, environmental education and awareness programs, and design communication projects. LACF grant applications are accepted from landscape architects, students, educators, and others. Those applying for grants are encouraged to push beyond the boundaries of everyday practice. Proposed research may be in the form of designs, articles, papers, and essays. The next grant application deadline is November 17, 2017. For more information, visit www.lacf.ca.

books Two recently published books provide interesting perspectives on gardens: one looks to the past, one to the future. All the President’s Gardens, by Marta McDowell, published by Timber Press, explores how the 18 acres that surround the White House have mirrored changes to landscapes and social history more generally in the United States. Garden Revolution, by Larry Weaner and Thomas Christopher, also published by Timber Press, is a rallying cry and inspirational guide to ecological design. Visit www.timberpress.com for more information.

32

.39

01

02

exhibitions

in memoriam

The world-renowned Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition will return to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto on December 16, 2017, and will be on show until March 18, 2018. Featuring 100 original images, the exhibition showcases the world’s best nature photography—from fascinating animal behaviour to breathtaking landscapes. For more information, visit www.rom.on.ca.

Alexander Charles “Sandy” Bell

public art The national not-for-profit Evergreen recently launched a new public art program in Toronto’s Don River Valley Park, a 200-hectare greenspace spanning from Evergreen Brick Works to the mouth of Lake Ontario. Co-presented by Evergreen and the City of Toronto, and curated by Kari Cwynar, the Don River Valley Park Art Program features new temporary sculptural installations, murals, billboards, and performance, including dance and sound, along the Don River, created specifically for this site by local, Canadian, and international artists. The first artwork, a series of concrete gargoyle sculptures by acclaimed Omaskêko Cree artist Duane Linklater, was unveiled in September, 2017. For more information, visit https://donrivervalleypark.ca/.

treaties The first week of November marks Treaties Recognition Week in Ontario, which was officially designated by provincial legislation in 2016 as part of an effort to bring awareness to the treaty relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in the province. Ontario is covered by 46 treaties and other agreements that are legally binding and set out the rights, responsibilities, and relationships of First Nations and the federal and provincial governments. To learn more about the treaties or to view a treaty map of Ontario, visit https://files.ontario. ca/treaties_map_english.pdfhttps://files. ontario.ca/treaties_map_english.pdf.

The OALA is saddened to announce the passing of Alexander Charles “Sandy” Bell on July 16, 2017 at the age of 65. Sandy has been a member of the OALA since June 1985. Sandy graduated in 1976 from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture and commenced working with conservation authorities immediately after graduation, where he practised for nearly 40 years. He was also involved with numerous professional associations, advisory boards, and steering committees, notably the Niagara Escarpment Parks and Open Space System Council. He retired in December 2016 and earlier this year he received the OALA’s Public Practice Award for his work in the Hamilton and Halton Regions. Sandy was an outstanding leader in the conservation community and will be missed by the members of the OALA. As is OALA’s custom, a book will be added to the OALA library and a memorial tree will be planted at the Guelph Arboretum WallCustance Memorial Forest in Sandy’s name.

awards The Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA) recently announced that the University of Guelph’s Master Plan and Implementation (1965) has won the CSLA Legacy Project Award for 2017. The landscape architecture firm of Project Planning Associates Limited (Macklin Hancock, Walter Kehm, Owen Scott, Ken McFarland, Gary Heine, Garry Hilderman, John Consolati) developed the University of Guelph Master Plan and executed its implementation. 01/

Arctic Treasure, from Wildlife Photographer of the Year, ROM

IMAGE/

Sergey Gorshkov

02/

Alexander Charles “Sandy” Bell

IMAGE/

Courtesy of OALA


Notes

33

.39

NEW ARRIVAL

MELVILLE COLLECTION

Aesthetic and eco-responsible

Cassara® Verde Pavers Cassara Verde is a perfectly eco-responsible paver. Its complete vegetated paving system allows to reduce runoff water and minimizes its ecological footprint. Ideal for vehicular areas, it offers an aesthetic visual signature and complements Cassara pavers especially to manage pedestrian circulation. To learn more, reserve a lunch and learn session at your office with your Permacon representative.

PERMACON.CA


Notes

34

.39

Project: Developer: Landscape Architect: Product:

Universal EventSpace ZZEN Group of Companies Landscape Planning Limited Trevista® 80, Richmond 80 & Adelaide 80 pavers



Business Corner

1992

36

.39

25

2017

YEARS

WE’VE HELPED ESTABLISH OVER

389’000 URBAN TREES GLOBALLY

RootSpace® • Made from 100% Recycled Plastic • Over 95% Void Space • Quick & Simple Installation • Rated for Vehicular Traffic with Minimal Surface

WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU EXPECT FROM THE TEAM THAT INVENTED THE WORLD’S FIRST SOIL CELL...

greenblue.com


Business Corner

37

.39

Soducated Site in p

outcome of alternate grassing optio n vs. sod, bo hoto shows

th laid at th e

same time

Properly established sod will outperform alternative grassing options every time... in every application... GUARANTEED! Can your project afford the risk of not getting any rain to germinate seed? Or alternatively the risk of heavy rainfall, with the potential to wash all your seed away? Heavy rain can also compact the seedbed to a point where seeds cannot germinate or establish properly. Then, to make it worse, there is the environmental risk of silt flowing into our lakes and streams through storm water management systems.

can only hope that the on-site micro environmental elements are perfectly aligned for the critical establishment period. This period, with the exception of some grass species, will take up to TWO YEARS to match the maturity and hardiness level of Greenhorizons’ sod.

Greenhorizons’ sod is a mature plant and has a well-established root system. The rhizomes and stolons (horizontally growing roots) are hardy enough to withstand drought, traffic and environmental hazards. Unfortunately, ALL other grassing options are dependent on high-risk germination period challenges like heavy rains that wash seed and mulch away, or dry conditions that eliminate any chance of germination. After the high-risk germination period you

When GHG ProXstablishment is specified for sodded surfaces, you are guaranteed your sod will be established, healthy and vigorously growing with no visible seams or gaps. It makes everyone look good. And that’s exactly what your expectations are when you are designing or consulting on a project.

GHG ProXstablishment™ Option for Guaranteed Success

Call Greenhorizons Sod Farms today and let us help you spec your next project just right.

Serving Ontario & Surrounding Areas | 1-800-367-6995 | GreenhorizonsSod.com


PLANT A BIG IDEA. WATCH IT CHANGE A CITY. We don’t just want more urban trees – We want them to last.

The Silva Cell’s open, modular design protects soil under paving, providing maximum rooting area for the tree and allowing

water to permeate the entire soil column.

This means healthier, longer-lived trees and a truly sustainable urban landscape. www.deeproot.com


CUSTOM SITE FURNITURE, SHADE & AMENITIES

800-268-7328 sales@hausersite.com www.hausersite.com

Architects LANDinc & West 8 Project Trillium Park & William G. Davis Trail

Let all kids play in harmony. Bring music to your neighborhood or school playground with Concerto outdoor musical instruments! Set at an accessible angle and height, these products allow children of all ages and abilities to experience the joys of making music. Congas, cabasas, vibes, chimes—install one or group them together to encourage a collaborative jam session in the park! To learn more, visit: Playworld.com/Concerto

Vibes

Medium Cabasa

Chimes

3 Congos

42 Woodway Trail | Brantford, ON N3R 6G7 (519) 750 3322 info@newworldparksolutions.ca


MCCH720-M Sit, relax and enjoy the view

800.716.5506 | maglin.com

Build Awareness, Share Ground

ACO Drain - Freestyle Iron Grates

UNLOCK YOUR DESIGN POTENTIAL! With the new ACO Drain Freestyle grates you can now design your own trench drain iron grates, or choose from a large variety of existing decorative designs. ■ Use trench drain grates to complement pavement design ■ Create customized, unique grates to enhance architectural features

■ Incorporate a company or municipal branding in the grate design

(877) 226-4255

ACO Systems, Ltd. I info@acocan.ca I www.acocan.ca

Purchase a subscription for your family, friends or colleagues at www.groundmag.ca


SOPRANATURE® ROOFS

GREEN ROOFING SOLUTIONS FOR OVER 20 YEARS

ROOFS WALLS FOUNDATIONS PARKING DECKS BRIDGES ADDITIONAL EXPERTISE

WATERPROOFING

INSULATION

SOUNDPROOFING

VEGETATIVE SOLUTIONS

ACCESSORY PRODUCTS

Call the Toronto SOPREMA office at 905.265.8008 for a free no obligation information session on the SOPRANATURE line of green roofing solutions.

SOPREMA.CA

Moving

Forward

2018 OALA CSLA Conference

50

T1 9 6 8 TH

TORONTO April 5-7, 2018

2018

www.csla-aapc.ca/events/2018conf


Artifact

42

.39

01

02

Daniel Rotsztain’s 401

01-02/

IMAGES/

Excerpts from Daniel Rotsztain’s project in which he hand-drew the entire length of the Toronto section of Highway 401 to scale Daniel Rotsztain

TO view additional content related to this Ground article, Visit www.groundmag.ca.

text by LOrraine johnson

Daniel Rotsztain is attracted to places we’ve deemed to be non-places; he tries, as he describes it, “to find essential qualities in those places.” An MLA student at the University of Guelph, he calls himself “the Urban Geographer” and is currently planning his thesis, still in its early stages, to be “related to urban design, strip malls, and the suburban.” For a recent art project, exhibited as part of Long Winter at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto in 2017, he drew the entire Toronto length of Highway 401, to scale, creating a 30-foot-long continuous ribbon of rendered infrastructure. Drawn without

a ruler, the resulting image riffs on an architectural aesthetic but humanizes it with hand craft. “The highway is huge, enormous—and thousands of people experience it every day,” he says, noting that, in places, the 401 is the busiest highway in North America and one of the widest. Yet even when immersed in it, we rarely think of it as part of our local identity, which is something he hopes to change, acknowledging it as immense collective experience. His 401 is all sinewy tissue, the muscle of the city—infrastructure made human. BIO/ lorraine johnson is editor of ground.


stronger. richer. longer.

PAVER S | WAL L S | CURBS & STEP S

Eterna

Enviro Passagio, Market Paver & Ortana

Market Paver, Gardenia Linear & Aria Step

Modan & Eterna

You’re creating an exceptional outdoor space. You need exceptional products, rich colours and a lasting finish. Oaks utilizes CarbonCure™ technology to recycle CO2 and create stronger concrete products. Our EliteFInish™ delivers richer, more vibrant colour and a harder wearing, more durable surface; while ColorBold™ technology provides a new level of colour longevity and stain resistance to keep your project looking it’s best for years to come.

OAKSpavers.com | 1.800.709.OAKS (6257)


THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS.

Our team has been trusted for over 40 years to provide technical expertise and project support in the exploration of segmental paving product options. Optimizing color, finish, texture and size, we have what it takes to bring your vision to life.

PROJECT: West Madison Pocket Park. Chicago, IL DESIGN: Geottsch Partners, Wolff Landscape Architect PRODUCT: Umbriano® Midnight Sky, Winter Marvel

UNILOCK.COM Contact your Unilock Representative for samples, product information and to arrange a Lunch & Learn for your team.

1-800-UNILOCK


Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.