This week we discussed landscape, the anthropocentric formation of what nature should look like. Burnet woods emulates a man-made social construction. It is about 90 acres of land, which is less than 0.14 square miles. (Burnet Woods is part of Cincinnati Parks which is a total of 2.3 sq miles). There are hiking and picnic areas, as well as a man-made pond. While the people that planned the conservation of land as a positive impact to the community, it’s hardly real nature. The space serves more as a green space, a small natural space among a largely urbanized area. The woods are themed to be nature-esqe, but i find it hard to be immersed in nature when I can hear the cars passing by on the street. In some parts of the park you can literally see through the trees to the other side. I’ve only seen a few species of animals there.
I think I’m biased from being blessed to grow up with the Cleveland Metroparks and Lake Erie.
The Cleveland Metroparks is 23000 acres or 35.9 sq. miles of natural forests, rivers, creeks, hiking trails, and picnic areas. The land is meant for conservation of wildlife and maintaining sustainable green area. Like Burnet Woods, much of it is meant to be for the man-made landscape, but I have explored so much of this area off trail and its amazing what you find. There is a lot of deer, and they often leave the park to run around the neighborhood backyards. I’ve seen an albino deer, groundhogs, eagles, owls and skunks to name a few. There’s even record of the rare black bear in certain parts. I also find it comforting to know that when you walk into the woods all you can hear is the wildlife around you.
My personal landscape probably differs than most people. depending on how and where people grew up. I think landscape is directly related to ideology and how culture shapes it. When I think of building my own landscape (like how people landscape their yards), I think of lots and lots of plants and trees; I’d probably build a house in the woods if I could. Whereas someone that grew up in a more urban area prefers a place like Burnet Woods and other smaller scale green spaces. Again, its like ideology and a how someone feels in an environment, their “sense of place”.