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RESOURCES: Toolbox for Park and Resource Managers


This is part of the Toolbox for Managers
These are some additional resources related to environmental art for Park and Resource Managers. Some other examples of art and stewardship, plus numerous links and helpful organizations to explore online.

If you know of additional resources you feel should be included, or care to share your comments and suggestions, please add them to the Wiki section for Managers.

Additional Projects of Interest

Mel Chin, Revival Field This ecological restoration project was supported by the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. It was conceived in collaboration with Rufus L. Chaney, senior research scientist at the United States Department of Agriculture and took place on a 60 square foot section of the contaminated Pig's Eye landfill in St. Paul, Minnesota. In Revival Field, Chin expanded on ideas of organic growth and concentrated his art-making around issues involving "green remediation" or the regeneration of biotic and abiotic materials over time in an evolving environment. This particular green remediation project investigated an important new natural method of cleaning up toxic waste.

Teaneck Creek Conservancy Their "Brownfields to Greenfields" project in Teaneck, New Jersey is transforming a 46-acre construction dump at the junction of I-80 and the New Jersey Turnpike into a restored wetland and park. Plans for the new park include a 1.5-mile trail system, wetlands restoration, environmental stewardship programs, outdoor education, and place-specific public art.

Herman Prigann One of the preeminent environmental artists in Germany, Herman Prigann creates large-scale landscape restoration projects which transform heavily impacted coal mining pits and industrial areas into public parks. His approach looks to the broad economic, social and ecological conditions of each site in order to create lasting and aesthetic interventions. Collaboration with managers, soils scientists and landscapers make this approach specific to heavily degraded areas. "It is necessary to create the preconditions for resource-yielding landscapes where energy raw materials were extracted. The failure to use human energy and creativity toward these goals would throw doubt over the long term survival of communities. Without an aesthetic and visionary starting point for the reshaping of the destroyed areas, there can be no positive identification with the landscape."

Aviva Rahmani, Ghost Nets, from 1991 to 2000, Aviva Rahmani worked on a major restoration art project called Ghost Nets on a former coastal dump site near her home on the Gulf of Maine. Working with biologists, bioengineers and the local community of Vinalhaven, Rahmani created a replicable model for sustainable restoration, including fresh and salt water marshland systems. "In "Ghost Nets" I set out to make connections between very small, documented decisions and the larger process of moving 16 truckloads of granite debris and collaborating with Bioengineers to make a viable ecosystem."

Gallery in the Trees, Birmingham, England, 1999-present. This multi-artist environmental arts initiative set out to pilot a strategy for commissioning public art with community involvement, participation and consultation. It is an example of an arts organization led project which included Birmingham City Council Museums and Arts Department, it featured four interwoven components: The creation of new temporary and permanent public art works, training in public art practice for artists, a digitally based program of community participation and high profile one-off public events. "Gallery in the Trees explores and finds links between Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery in the city centre and the Lickey Hills Country Park to the south west of the city, through the eyes of artists and the wider public. Both are enormous places which are free to the visiting public to explore in their own way, and both deal with the landscape and the natural environment, conservation and preservation, public usage and access, albeit in different ways."

Reclamation Art: Restoring and Commemorating Blighted Landscapes By Hilary Anne Frost-Kumpf, this essay provides a useful overview of restoration-based art projects. "A number of artists have been providing aesthetic solutions to environmentally distressed and derelict landscapes such as strip mines, abandoned quarries, and waste dumps. These "reclamation art" projects are large-scale site-specific works designed to go beyond making the reclaimed sites safe and inoffensive and to add the creative statement of an artistic work."

Websites and Organizations of Interest

Public Art Online is for anyone and everyone involved in public art whatever their discipline and whether new to the field or experienced professional. It contains practical guidance, case studies from around the world, a links section, news, information and current research, and covers all aspects of working with and commissioning artists, whatever the context. This is one of many extremely useful resources from the UK about public art and parks management.

Groundwork Arts Toolkit This UK-based site is designed to provide inspiration, ideas and practical assistance both to Groundwork Trust staff who want to use the arts within regeneration projects and to artists who want to learn more about the way that Groundwork engages with the arts. It is an exceptional resource with highlighted examples and links. Groundwork is a federation of Trusts in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and is currently working with partners in the European Union, Central and Eastern Europe, Japan and the USA.

Changing Places is Groundwork's 60 million Millennium programme. All 21 projects have helped local communities tackle the legacy of post-industrial decay in the UK, breathing new life into over 1,000 hectares of derelict and neglected land.

The Sensory Trust promotes and implements inclusive environmental design and management to ensure that opportunities for environmental education, access and participation are available to everyone, regardless of disability, age or background. The Trust advises on issues, influences policy, assists professional practice, showcases good practice, organises user-testing by disabled people, provides training/education and develops design and management projects.

Artful Ways is a national survey of art on trails of all kinds - walking, hiking, cycling, paddling, equestrian and off-road. The survey is being conducted by American Trails in cooperation with the National Park Service. We seek practical information about art on trails: what kind of art, how it is funded, how artists are selected, and what is the impact of art on the trail and community. Statistics quoted in the Introduction to the Manager's Toolbox came from this important document.

The Eden Project Dedicated to promoting "the understanding and responsible management of the vital relationship between plants, people and resources leading to a sustainable future for all". This ambitious park in England features permanent arts installations throughout and an extensive participative arts program, "you won't see forests of graphic panels covered in text - we decided very early that we wanted people's experience of the Eden Project to be real, rather than virtual - with lots to see, smell, hear, taste and touch - rather than read."

Arts Queensland's Public Art Agency Excellent site for the public art agency for the state of Queensland, including a very comprehensive Toolkit for commissioners, project managers, artists and anyone involved in the commissioning process, with sample commission agreements, briefs etc. A second part of the handbook is in preparation and will deal with handover of public artworks, asset management and maintenance. A helpful resource for Australian parks managers and anyone interested in learning about the Australian Parks system.

Parks & People Foundation has worked to improve the quality of life in Baltimore, MD neighborhoods since 1984. Staff, volunteers and partners in the community developed innovative solutions to issues facing our city including the restoration of our neighborhoods and their natural resources. Their Great Parks, Clean Streams & Green Communities - is dedicated to helping to improve the physical, social and environmental quality of neighborhoods through greening activities and forming networks among communities to sustain natural resources

The River Parrett Trail is located midway between the Somerset and Dorset coastlines, 100 miles west of London, England. "Working in the craft tradition of the countryside we are commissioning new stiles, gates and seats for places along the trail. Artists are working with local people and using local materials to create work that explores themes in the landscape. Artists are also working on collaborative projects with schools and in the community ~ they are helping create special events as well as produce poetry and music."

The Land Stewardship Resource Centre is an online clearinghouse and free educational referral service. "Designed for land stewards everywhere, it contains a wealth of information about user-friendly, land-use conservation practices, programs, agencies and referrals for hundreds of resources - from books and videos to websites. Whether you're a farmer, rancher, acreage owner or backyard gardener, when it comes to looking after the land (now, and for generations to come), tracking-down the best available resources, conservation programs, practical tools and management techniques can be a confusing, and often difficult or impossible task."

Ecomuseums Become More Realistic, by Kenneth Hudson, Nordisk Museologi Web site, 1996. A fascinating look at the changing nature of the eco-museum concept around the world since its inception in France in the 1960's. Sometimes the way a problem is framed and marketed makes all the difference in terms of public perception.

International Directory of Sculpture Parks and Gardens For anyone interested in a thorough listing of over 500 sculpture parks and gardens worldwide, artist Benbow Bullock has cleverly published them within a website of his own work. Looking for a park to visit and a chance to compare approaches?

International Sculpture Center This non-profit organization is dedicated to advancing the creation and understanding of sculpture. Members include artists, architects, developers, galleries/museums and parks professionals interested in the role of public sculpture. The site includes a resource centre, portfolio section, discussion forum, news and events. ISC publishes Sculpture magazine.

© 2010