Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Garden

An experiment in unauthorized park and flora establishment for the betterment of public space

For about a year now whenever I make the decision to walk to work I pass a flight of stairs that look, for the most part, messy and ugly.

Not that I don't absolutely love seeing plant life that has begun to take over, but the overgrown and unruly flora distract only slightly from the collection of McRefuse and Tim’s own unrecyclable paper cups.The leftovers not only look disgusting, but the smell on a hot day was bad enough to make me swear off McDonald's forever (probably a good thing.) I honestly think the warm ice-teas and whatever-with-cheeses are stewing under the undergrowth and if left unchecked Burnaby could find itself facing something along the lines of a Troma video.

So yeah, it’s gross. But why has it happened?

I believe the main reason for the garbage-buildup is the bus stop.

Not that the bus stop is itself responsible, but the startling lack of a garbage bin means people who don’t want to break Translink rules by eating or drinking on the bus (thanks Translink!) find themselves forced to toss their refreshments willy-nilly on the ground when boarding.

At first I tried not to blame the bussies because I like to think of transiteers as a more socially responsible group, but I have been walking this route the better part of a year now and not once have I seen another person anywhere around the steps other than bus stop. The lack of substantial foot-traffic could be because of the disgusting smell, but really I think people don’t come down the steps because there simply isn’t much to go down them to.

It’s a quiet street with very little in the way of traffic, and even less in the way of homes or businesses. It borders on the train tracks, so there really isn’t even a south side of the road for anything to reside-upon.

I’m going to take this neglected patch of urban landscape and create an enjoyable public space. I’m hoping the small amount of foot-traffic through the space means once this little project is underway there won’t be a high amount of day-to-day maintenance.

The hidden gem is the most beautiful anyway right?

What needs to happen:
• Remove garbage.
• Install or have installed a garbage bin for the bus stop.
• Trim bushes and remove old trimmings.
• Weed (that’s remove-em you hippies.)
• Plant some plants.
• Find some buckets or barrels for rain-water.
• Install seating and sign.
• Throw a party.

No comments: