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Showing posts from September, 2013

McMaster minus section of Parking Lot M equals MacMarsh

THE SILHOUETTE - FEATURE: MACMarsh looks to reclaim parking lot as green spaceSeptember 12, 2013HomeNEWSNo Comments For many McMaster students, the bridge spanning Cootes Drive is a road seldom travelled. The far west side of campus is currently home to just the Campus Services Building, a few baseball diamonds, and several parking lots. But a group of McMaster professors plans to change that. Coming from departments ranging from Environmental Science to English, they call their budding project the “MACMarsh.” In 2009, the City of Hamilton tore up part of west campus’ Parking Lot M to install a Combined Sewage Overflow tank, and it has yet to be repaved. The MACMarsh group is encouraging the university to remove the asphalt that remains and let nature reclaim the barren ground. The parking-lot-to-paradise transition would both increase the amount of campus green space and create a valuable teaching and research facility. Lot M was first created in the early 1970s, when …
Backing up the Big Yellow Taxi ‘Unpaving’ a parking lot is important to Mac — and to Hamilton ByAidan Johnson -  Hamilton Spectator, August 31, 2013 Alberta poet Joni Mitchell wrote, around 1970, the first words of her song Big Yellow Taxi: "They paved paradise / And put up a parking lot." A few years before, bulldozers at McMaster University had done exactly that. "Paradise", in that case, was a small but very old wetland on the campus grounds. It filtered waters that fed Ancaster Creek, a.k.a. Cold Spring Creek. That stream flows directly to yet another Paradise: Cootes — Hamilton's famous marsh, and the largest wetland on the west side of Lake Ontario. The Mac marsh became the campus parking lot now known as Lot M. The loss of the wetland weakened the creek, and so Cootes with it. Mitchell was not specifically thinking of Mac when she wrote Big Yellow Taxi. But she was certainly haunted by the overall destruction of Canada's wild lands and waterways. More…

The best of both worlds: nature and art!

Thanks to Judy Major-Girarden of the School of the Arts for continuing to bring ecology and art together at McMaster University. This follows up on her previous work with visiting artist Gregg Schlanger, whose installation piece related directly to Cootes Paradise and Lot M in particular. Judy is helping bring attention and beauty to bear on the natural areas around campus.