The Garden City Conservation Society helps keep green spaces in Richmond BC for community wellness. They first formed with the goal of designating the Garden City Lands as Agricultural Land Reserve. As a result, this unique urban sphagnum bog is saved for the enjoyment of all! From the road, the Garden City Lands might not look like much, but when you walk in you will find all kinds of special plants and animals that are particular to these wetlands.
The Society asked me to draw some of these organisms (roughly to scale) for an educational colouring sheet. This sheet may be reproduced for noncommercial educational purposes.
Digitally coloured example…
On the surface, I have come to appreciate my relationship with walking as a means of transportation, of exercise, of subversion, and of empowerment. However, a more deeply meaningful aspect of walking to me is the repetition and ritual of it. This piece speaks to the near-religious relationship instilled in me on the walks I’ve done most frequently. Each of these routes has drawn me closer with those who led me, and ultimately, they prepared me for continuing alone.
In each of these vials is some of the earth from the three chosen walks. Just as my feet have run ruts in the earth, so have these places made impressions in me. The dirt, dust, sand and pebbles are the physical representation of the way that I always bring these places with me. The beads knotted into the waxed string (simulated sinew) correspond to the repetition of the ritual. Each bead stands for 50 times walked.
I know that my walks contained stories, had pieces of me, and even helped raise me. In Wanderlust: A History of Walking, Rebecca Solnit writes, “To walk the same route again can mean to think the same thoughts again, as though thoughts and idea were indeed fixed objects in a landscape one need only know how to travel through.”1 I was taught that if you take raw materials from the earth, you should thank the place, and ideally give something back. When I re-walked these paths to collect the earth, I knew that these places already had so much of me.
1 Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking (New York: Penguin Books, 2000), 78. Bibliography
A headpiece about being tangled in white lies. String and glue.
A headpiece about drowning or being caved in. Papier mâché, tissue paper.
I didn’t quite get the shapes I intended in this last piece. I think I will saw it apart and make something new!
The blueberry smoothie was not the best idea.
Up until recently I spent a few hours each day looking out of bus windows.
We concluded our dance workshop with a jam circle that was safe and celebratory. At the end, with sweat dripping from our smiling faces, we held our palms out towards each other and felt our collective energy.