LARCH 7950: Midwestern Aesthetics of Care
The land at Chadwick Arboretum North currently functions as an experimental landscape. It is home to the largest willow collection in North America, a test site for foreign plant species during changing climate, a dumping ground for materials from past and current Ohio State University and city projects, and a research site for students studying ecology.
All these conditions leave Chadwick North without a sense of unity, without opportunity to explore, and without ecological unity. My ethic for Chadwick North sets ecological prosperity and human interaction at the forefront. Creating spaces and designating times for unique ecological and anthropological moments to occur through careful and intentional practices of maintenance.
Primarily, Chadwick North will be organized into circular “rooms”, broadly defined as spaces in which you must pass through a threshold. These rooms occur at three different scales and each serves distinct ecologies and human purposes: Milkweed Prairies, Willow Groves, and PawPaw/Mixed Masting Groves.
Each of these rooms is identifiable through the tool of the windsock, made of paper and laced with seeds of native plants, with the intention that as the socks decompose, new and more random matrices of plants and ecologies occur on Chadwick North. This set of ethics primarily focuses on the curation and cultivation of an ecologically prosperous site that encourages human interaction with nature at a variety of scales and opportunities, uniting Chadwick North through these experiences.