Building a Wilder Brooklyn: Lessons from Prospect Park

By Carrie Laben
Linewaiters' Gazette, December 20, 2007

We too often think of nature as the opposite of culture, and of wilderness as purely untouched. Of course, since people have to live in the world, this is a difficult ideal to maintain. Even the most seemingly pristine areas show the effects of humanity. For example, Native North Americans in forested regions from Massachusetts to California used controlled burning to reset tree growth and return minerals to the soil--so the "primeval" forests described by early European explorers were really nothing of the sort. This fact, as strange as it may seem, is very fortunate for New Yorkers. If only "pure" wilderness counts, many of us will rarely get the opportunity to see it. But from the point of view that nature can be anywhere, every Coop member has access to some amazing habitats.

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