Field Notes: Observing Lake Union

September 25, 11:00 am-2:00 pm Lake Union Park Opening
October 23, 3:00-5:00 pm Walking Tour
October 23, 5:00-7:00 pm Wild Foods Dinner

Download Audio:
Site 1 Lake Union Park: A Layered Landscape
Site 2 Fairview Park: Domestication
Site 3 Gasworks Park: Radical Re-Use
Site 4 Lake Washington Ship Canal: Nature Re-Engineered

Field Notes: Observing Lake Union is an audio tour of the Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop, created by the Studio for Urban Projects, that explores how changing conceptions of nature, and our place within it, have shaped Seattle’s Lake Union over the last two hundred years. The piece focuses on the underlying ecology of Lake Union and its transformation through eras of geologic change, Native American stewardship, European settlement, commercial industry and large-scale infrastructural development as well as urban planning and park design. The project probes the complex interplay between human values and natural ecologies that have shaped Lake Union today.

Lake Union is a landscape that has been dramatically transformed. Over the course of 200 years Lake Union has been radically altered from its pre-Seattle days when it was inhabited for thousands of years by the Duwamish tribe. Field Notes: Observing Lake Union offers visitors insight into the historical topography of the lake and the ways it has been altered. It focuses on traces of Lake Union’s natural ecosystems and habitats and explore how they are being restored by reclamation efforts. The project poses questions relevant to cities everywhere: what are the underlying ecologies of our urban landscapes? How can human systems more thoughtfully integrate into them?

Field Notes: Observing Lake Union is created in collaboration with audio engineer Tim Halbur and is commissioned by the Seattle Department of Transportation & Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation 1% for Art Funds, administered by the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs. It will launch will on September 25, 2010 in conjunction with the grand opening of Lake Union Park.

Contributors to Field Notes audio include: Langdon Cook, forager and author of Fat of the Land: Adventures of a 21st Century Forager; Galen Cranz, author of The Politics of Park Design; Arthur Lee Jacobsen, plant expert and author of Wild Plants of Greater Seattle; Julie Johnson, co-author of Greening Cities, Growing Communities: Learning from Seattle’s Urban Community Gardens; Richard Haag, Landscape Architect, Richard Haag Associates; Warren KingGeorge, Muckleshoot Tribe Oral Historian; Matthew Klingle, author of Emerald City: An Environmental History of Seattle; Ray Larson, urban horticulturalist and author of The Flora of Seattle in 1850: Major Species and Landscapes Prior to Urban Development; Terry Reckord, Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop Masterplan architect; Charles Simenstad, Aquatic and Fishery Sciences Research Professor; Jackie Swanson, descendent of John Cheshiahud; Coll Thrush, author of Native Seattle: Histories from the Crossing-Over Place; Dick Wagner, Founding Director of the Center for Wooden Boats; and David Williams, author of The Seattle Street-Smart Naturalist.