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Design for nature not cars in McMaster west campus

Monday, January 20, 2020 Rethinking McMaster's West Campus


Floodplain and Simple I really hope that the vision for west campus does look to rehabilitate the floodplain under McMaster Parking Lot M. In these times of global climate emergency, what better contrast than cars parked on top a coldwater wetland. One is a source of our current predicament, and the other is a part of the solution to mitigate the issues we face.

Meanwhile: Trail to Trespass
McMaster still has to come to terms with the fact they won't allow people currently parking in the west campus to use the perfectly lovely remnant of the former Royal Botanical Gardens nature trails to access campus.

It's very odd that it was easier to get hundreds of parking spaces removed to create the required 30-metre buffer to the coldwater creek there than it is to get McMaster to stop blocking access to the trail.

I'm hoping to open (another) conversation with McMaster about this trail. In the meantime, I will be chec…

In the beginning

I've sometimes wondered how certain plants started growing in our yard. I'm guessing seed dispersal: the wind floats some through the air, sticky burrs caught on a racoon's fur drop as they pass through at night, a nuthatch drops some seeds from its tail-end while searching for bugs on the side of a tree.

The methods of delivery are varied, but the process of growth continues with time and the right conditions - rain, sun, soil -  and the wind, the racoon, the nuthatch are forgotten like the seed itself.

We see goldenrod, sumach, dogwood, and it appears as though nothing preceded this moment, this forest stands inexplicably before our eyes.

This is the way too with social or environmental change. Generations of germination and growth. The fruits may come after the planter has long disappeared. Like a monarch butterfly migrating - it's the generation that begins the journey that makes it possible for the next generation to arrive.

I feel a little of this with the west c…