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Celebrate the Wildflowers of Detroit!---New Project.

Discussion in 'Article & News Submission' started by togata57, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. togata57

    togata57 Bryophyta

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    Just heard about this project---sounds like an excellent idea.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/winterroot/wildflowers-of-detroit

    There will be a BIG need for expert ID and editing of submissions...and I'm thinking about invasive/noxious plants that will be inevitably be photographed, such as Amur honeysuckle and poison ivy. This app could be used as a way to pinpont areas of infestation.

    BUT I believe that this effort uses technology in a laudable way. Anything that gets folks paying attention to the wild plants all around them, raises awareness of the natural world, is GOOD! Ironic that the ubiquitous phone, which serves to distract so many folks, may be used to direct attention to nature!
    John S likes this.
  2. Matthew

    Matthew Chlorophyta

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    Just found this posting, thanks a lot for putting this up here. It's always nice to run into more folks enthusiastic about the project. Fundraising has been going well, but we are starting to get short on time to make the goal on kickstarter, so anyone who's interested in seeing this project happen please consider becoming a backer! Even very small contributions count a lot.

    For the duration of the project we've also been posting detail and perspective about particular plants living in the city every few days. Read more on our kickstarter blog here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/winterroot/wildflowers-of-detroit/posts
    John S likes this.
  3. togata57

    togata57 Bryophyta

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    Hey, Matthew! Great to hear from you.

    I have posted your site on the botanical forum of the University of British Columbia. I figure: It pays to advertise! Folks have to know about you before they can help.
    Here is the address for UBC. Scroll down to 'Plants and Science' (3d green heading) and you will find the post under 'Plants: In The News':
    http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/index.php

    You have a wonderful idea, and I wish you great success!
  4. Matthew

    Matthew Chlorophyta

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    Cool, and thanks! We actually did try posting there, and they moved the post to some other forum, so it's good that you are hitting it too. Thanks for your enthusiasm for the project!!! Let us know if you happen to think up any other good spots to spread the word to.
  5. togata57

    togata57 Bryophyta

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    Took a look at UBC: the post by gwenm was moved to the 'Celebrate Biodiversity' forum. Has had 52 views!

    Assume that you have alerted the local news media there in Detroit. If not, call/email the TV stations! Newspapers! Here in Columbus we have a daily paper, plus a couple of 'alternative' ones geared towards college-age readers. See if you could get an ad in one or more of these---or, better yet, an article/interview. Ohio State has The Lantern: assume that your colleges/universities have their own publications, too.

    Heck, you could try the papers here! It's just the sort of subject that I think the reporters would go for. Much of the copy has to do with the latest current trends, in entertainment, the arts, technology---organic food, recycling, growing your own vegetables---you get the idea. Aimed at 20-30 year old folk who have smart phones, laptops, and a full array of social media at their command. Just the ticket!
    (Will send you further info in a private message.)

    How about putting up flyers at garden centers? See if you can post your info on park sites. I know that you are strapped for time, but it would be great to get schools involved, esp. elementary and high. Speaking of schools, are there universities which have botany and related subjects in their curriculum? Email /call them and see if you could pop in to a classroom and give your spiel. Ditto the high schools---there's a science teacher somewhere who would go for it!

    I work for the public library, and know that certain groups are allowed to set up by the front door--- I recall political petitioners looking for signatures. I am sure that a phone call could answer the question 'Could my group pass out flyers to customers?' Surely you would be allowed to post a flyer on the bulletin board in the lobby: just ask the manager of the branch.

    OK! Well, hope that these brilliant inspirations are of use to you! If I get any more, I will fire 'em off.
  6. Matthew

    Matthew Chlorophyta

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  7. togata57

    togata57 Bryophyta

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    Good news about the interview!
  8. Matthew

    Matthew Chlorophyta

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    Here's the text of our latest update on the project. It's shaping up to be a wild ride to the finish line!!

    One week to go :: Wildflowers vs Ruin Porn

    Old friends, new friends, backers, and supporters,

    We have one week left to fund this project. With some generous and very appreciated contributions we are within smelling distance of our goal, but it's not over yet. It comes down to this: seeing Detroit through images of destroyed buildings or through the living experience of wildflowers and wildness. Through this project we seek to ignite a pivotal shift, not with an idealized art project, but rather a grassroots effort enabling the community to speak for itself, uniting a technological approach with day to day experience on the street. If you can recognize the viability of a Detroit guided by wildflowers, not ruin, and are still considering backing this project, now is the time.

    We've been hearing an increasing clamor of discussion online and in our mailbox. Some share excitement about the project and offer resources – perspective, information, promotion, or backing. Others snark back with quips and insults. From one former Detroiter: “Good idea – ask people to go to desolate, empty spaces in Detroit to take pictures of flowers. I'll pencil in noon this Sunday @ the empty lot between the crackhouse and the burnt out bungalow.” While the intention is humorous, the message of such commentary lays bare the deeply rooted negativity fueling the current obsession with Detroit's destroyed skyscrapers and houses. Some photographers repeat ad nauseam the same well framed images of post apocalypse as the next hip thing to check out, while leaving the rest of the story outside of the frame. Though it is no doubt a site to behold, 'Ruin Porn,' as it has come to be called, manages to capture the grit of the city while missing the point - tenacious survival in a harsh environment.
    If you've spent enough time in the city, you know that it's this very rawness that makes Detroit unique and special. In Detroit, from a history of destruction and error, a remarkable openness and spontaneity has been born. Ruin requires real disaster for its grit, but in our minds the more important message, indeed the more powerful image of the city, is that of hard work and rebirth: expansive fields of creative, remarkable organisms finding a way in surprising circumstances. Perhaps it is a radical concept to view 'the aftermath’ as a valuable opening to a new and different kind of city – but this is exactly what we must do.

    It may seem like a fanciful notion, but plants show us the way. Their stories of growth, expansiveness, and hard work trump those of failure, burning buildings, shattered lives. Consider the communities who’ve been here through it all. Sit and listen to the wind blow through a marsh full of cattails. Watch a flock of yellow finches burst forth from abandoned field where they have found their food as seed. Detroit will always be raw, because this is its identify. But the core spirit is in the WILD – unforced and fluid – not in the RUIN.
    -Matt (and Gwen)
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  9. Matthew

    Matthew Chlorophyta

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    Alrighty, 71% and 48 hours left to do this! Doing a last round of internet promo push for the day. It's a crazy ride...
  10. John S

    John S Administrator Staff Member

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    Congratulations! Let us know how the project goes.

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