Are there sentient peoples that have walked this planet and not known them? Not the Inuit, with streams of murres, guillemots, and puffins cascading across their arctic landscape. Certainly not the ancient Egyptians, who balanced their deification of the cat with heiroglyphical cranes, geese, and falcons. There are prehistoric stone sculptures of echidnas from New Guinea, quetzals from the ruins at Chichen Itza, and sea eagles atop Alaskan totems. To breathe, to open one’s eyes and ears each morning, is to know birds.
The most important environmental issue is one that is rarely mentioned, and that is the lack of a conservation ethic in our culture—Gaylord Nelson
For the past couple of weeks I have been posting a series of articles about the Culture of Conservation on the BirdSpert blog. Given the impact that these ideas and this concept have on our work, I am going to link the articles here for Fermata viewers. Although still rudimentary, these posts will ultimately be expanded to become a book on conservation interpretation.
Culture of Conservation
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler—Albert Einstein
The third principle of the Culture of Conservation is to keep the message simple. Effective marketing is little more than simple messages and images repeated endlessly. Remember the earlier quote that 93% of American children can recognize McDonalds by the golden arches? I wonder what the percentage is now for the Japanese?
Simple messages and images rise above the cacophony that is modern life. Simplicity and volume (both amplitude and amount) help messages battle through the noise. Doubt this? According to the Associated Press, BP’s been spending more than $5 million a week on advertising since the blowout. Remember BPs original simple message? Beyond Petroleum.
Part 1 of Space For Place ended with we need the tools to stitch these places into seamless spaces, and the media necessary to present these spaces to America. First, let’s stitch. Places often exist independently, islands within an ocean of other places. An Audubon place, such as Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, shares little with the other Audubon places such as the Paul J. Rainey Wildlife Sanctuary, Mill Grove, or Rowe Sanctuary other than the name. The name certainly has space, but the places themselves are effectively isolated.
A place for everything, everything in its place.
Everything in its place. In Franklin’s case, the place is Philadelphia. For the past year I have been helping Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park, the nation’s first. More than 300 years ago, William Penn designed Philadelphia to be a “Greene Country Towne,” where squares, parks, and open spaces would allow residents to escape the pace and unhealthy conditions found in 17th-century European cities. In 1690 Governor Penn required for every five acres cleared one acre of forest should be preserved. Franklin led a commission to regulate waste water in the city (leading to the first waste water treatment in the country). Where I am working, Fairmount Park encompasses 9,200 acres, a full 10 percent of the land in Philadelphia (city and county).