Perspectives: Finding City Nature With Amanda Lukas Part II
In part I of my conversation with Amanda Lukas, Sustainability Manager at Findlay Market, Cincinnati, OH, we spoke about her development into an appreciation of nature and how having an experience of nature affects mental and physical health. In part II our conversation continues in which we cover topics of transition zones in ecosystems, a perspective on how crucial humanity is in terms of global ecology, some tips for a successful day trip to Findlay Market and waxing philosophical.
Listening to Amanda tell me about the beach and the fact that she is a global ecologist by training had me curious to talk to her more about transition zone ecosystems. What I mean when I think about transition zone ecosystems would be borders where plants, animals and climate start to slowly change into a different form. When I lived in Israel, I would experience this phenomenon in a dramatic fashion in a short 6 hour drive, from flowing springs in the north to hyper-arid blazing hot south. The beach is another special one of these zones, transition from land to sea, and being in that zone for me is transformative. Here is Amanda's comments on ecological transition zones:
In this next piece Amanda brought up a point that I believe is crucial in thinking about global challenges. The idea confronts hubris head on. In this wildly imaginative "what if", there is an assertion that the planet will be just fine and perhaps better off without an anthropocenic presence of humanity. This mad rush to save the planet from climate change, toxic pollution, unending consumption of natural resources is really a rush to save humanity's existence. Hear what Amanda had to say about it:
Naturally our conversation wandered from more serious and fateful topics to a much lighter feel when I asked her about spending a day at Findlay Market. From my perspective, the food options there are so varied, you can really satisfy any particular taste that you have. I had some Vietnamese coffee from Pho Lang Thang, made my way over to Blue Oven Bakery and bought an amazing French loaf and some delicious Focaccia perfectly spiced and topped with vegetarian goodness. Amanda shared with me from her close acquaintance with the market and its vendors some of her suggestions about spending time in the market and the neighborhood. Listen here:
As we were winding down the interview, I asked Amanda if there were any particular message that she would like to transmit using this media. She was quite hesitant about making over arching statements about sustainability or any other topic, however she did give this message some thought and decided to give a summarizing statement about what she wants the audience of this blog and the stakeholders in her position as Sustainability and Outdoor Market Manager at Findlay Market to hear. Here is what she has to say:
I really connected with this statement. The passion and purpose of this blog is to spark an interest in nature, natural landscapes and spaces, and all the elements that makes up the whole that leads to some definition nature. When Amanda spoke this last piece and ended our interview, I loved the analogy of a journey, a route that twists, turns, turns us all around and back again. The journey is accented by eternal nature, that presents a base to experience the world and help us to find our place within and within nature. And all of these profound, amazing thoughts that came from a visit to a market.