The Pollinator Pathway Project
Join us for Sarah Bergmann’s presentation on her ongoing look at nature in our time, Pollinator Pathways.
Founded in 2007, the Pollinator Pathway began in Seattle as an evocative civic design project that brought several elements together. By uniting land fragments, it supports the connection of biological life (based on the basic science behind ecological corridors); and by supporting density inside cities, it contributes to walkable cities that produce less sprawl, more ecology in rural areas and less climate change.
The Pollinator Pathway was imagined as a public park, a design challenge, a research project and a large-scale naturalist book about nature in the Anthropocene, or Age of Humans. Through the creation of this project, Bergmann began a broader conversation about nature, one that connects the history of the world to our era of design in the Anthropocene. (It has some affinity to projects such as Paul Salopek’s Out of Eden and Eric Sanderson’s Mannahatta. Sanderson, after discovering an early map of Manhattan, spent ten years reconstructing what Manhattan might have looked like at Hudson’s arrival. In 2013, Salopek embarked on an immersive journalism project that involves a ten year walk across four continents, following the route of humanity’s migration.) The Pollinator Pathway was built along similar lines, but in reverse: it meant creating a nature out of the Anthropocene while seeking to understand the broader implications of civilization-scale design.
The project rose out of the green modernism movement, which dismantled the Western idea that there is a stable state of nature to which we can or must return. It proposed next steps in this global conversation, that in this debate, designing to the best possible outcome for the planet requires not just a better ecological understanding of the relationship among systems, but a paradigm shift in how humanity thinks about our relationship with the planet—one that moves us away from “saving” species and toward becoming a long-term ecological civilization.
The Pollinator Pathway captured public imagination, then met the internet, and for six years, Bergmann wrestled with a runaway project. Learn more about the project and its trajectory in Seattle and globally.
About the Speaker
Sarah Bergmann is the winner of the Betty Bowen Award and the Stranger Genius Award, and her work has been praised by NPR, Popular Science, The Atlantic, and GOOD. The Pollinator Pathway has been integrated into courses at Seattle University and The University of Washington and exhibited at the Olympic Sculpture Park and the Seattle Art Museum. Bergmann lectures frequently to architecture, art and landscape design audiences, including at the University of Washington, the Henry Art Gallery, the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle University and TEDx.