The fleeing gardens

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Forty some years ago, a man from Indiana was one of the steel workers that got hired for construction of the tallest building in the world. “Willis Tower” which was the tallest building in North America until a year ago, still remains a symbol of Chicago. Ten years after its opening in 1973, grand daughter of that steel worker was born in a suburb of Chicago. Since she was a little girl, whenever they visited grand parents, she would help her grandmother in her garden. It was then that she grew her affinity with plants. Her gardener grandmother recently passed away at age of 89. Rachel, 32, is a plant biologist today and manages the “Plants of Concern” non for profit research center. Their work consists of gathering information about rare and endangered plant species in greater Chicago area and its surroundings. After spotting them, they study their environment and the causes and effects that influences their survival. The field team includes many volunteers that use GPS devices to track their findings. For some years, Rachel was one of the field researches and since winter has been promoted to the manager position. Despite that, the new position only has added to her responsibilities and she still does plenty of botanic field research and analysts. I asked her about the common whereabouts of these plants. She said: Near industrial sites such as steel plants and near nuclear power plants. It seemed that these plants find refuge near the very places that are contributing to destruction of their natural habitats. The factories that make the building blocks of places such as “Willis Tower” that its designers avoid living it their vicinity and have become hiding grounds for these sensitive plants fleeing from human destruction. In my mind, I looked for an example that accompanies  such strange co-existence. A tale, a story that parallels this circumstance. Not a chance for this polluted imagination.

Chicago – Fall 2014

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