Sunday, March 15, 2009


One of the arguments against the Estabrook Dam is that it creates an unnatural impoundment on the river, slowing the flow of water. It is true that it is a human alteration of nature. Many other things- in fact, almost every item people use- fall into that exact same category: buildings, interstates, clothing...of course we all know this. A thoughtful person considers the influence he or she has on nature. How can I cut down on my fossil fuel use? How can I create less garbage and fewer recyclables? I carpool. I keep my heat low in winter- today I had guests, so I cranked the heat to a toasty 64 degrees fahrenheit. These are things I consider every day: how am I affecting global warming? I used a styrofoam cup at the PEE meeting at the Courthouse and felt guilty about it. (To be fair, I knew that the check-in at the Courthouse would be strict and stressed about leaving everything I could at home- even forgetting to eat breakfast, which for me could be disastrous.)
What I wanted to really highlight here, though, is the irony of trying to keep this stretch of the Milwaukee River all-natural, whilst simultaneously carving the David Schulz Aquatic Center into Lincoln Park. I can't find much information about it online, so I had to take a photograph of its herald sign. I hope it conveys to you a sense of the magnitude of this project.

I took these construction photos last week.

All of this is taking place right around the magnificent oak tree at right. I love this tree- I just find its silhouette so striking in shape and size, so attractive; I very much hope that its roots are not harmed between the digging and the heavy machinery driving around it. This tree has survived and thrived for so long. It would be a shame to see it wither and die.

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